Morning Roundup: Phil Knight retires; Portland voters to consider housing bond

Nike’s Phil Knight announces retirement, while Portland voters will consider a $258 million housing bond.

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End of an era. Phil Knight announced his retirement from Nike yesterday. Knight, who co-founded the athletic apparel company more than 50 years ago, recommended chief executive Mark Parker serve as his replacement as company chairman. In discussing his retirement Knight also announced a new limited liability company, Swoosh, to hold the majority of his Nike shares. Swoosh will also reportedly maintain Nike’s corporate governance.

To coincide with Knight’s announcement, the Portland Business Journal published an in-depth interview with Knight, discussing his life and successful career.

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More housing solutions. The Portland City Council has made several decisions recently to attempt to address the affordable housing crisis. On Wednesday, the council approved a 1% construction tax, with revenues funding new development. Yesterday, the council unanimously voted to send a $258 million bond measure to the ballot, which would also build affordable housing. The bond would create about 1,300 housing units — many of which could house families. Read more from OPB.

Insurance rates reset. Oregon’s health insurance rates for 2017 have been set. The rates were reviewed by the Division of Financial Regulation, which also considered public testimony in its decision. The Statesman Journal reports most rates were found to be reasonable, but there were some slight adjustments. Providence’s rate was reduced by 5.5%, as the division found the profit margin generated was too high. Moda’s rate was also reduced, by 3%.

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Minimum wage goes into effect. The first minimum wage hike is in effect today, boosting wages 50 cents an hour across the state, and 25 cents an hour in rural counties. Gov. Kate Brown signed the three-tiered law in March. The next hike will bring the wage to $10.25 an hour July, 1, 2017. Wages will continue to increase annually until reaching $13.50 in 2022. OPB has more.

New class of startups. Oregon State University’s Advantage Accelerator program has its sixth cohort.  This round of startups includes 12 companies, ranging in specialty smart home products to a flying speaker.

71 & Change. Research Editor Kim Moore reports on a new startup and the evocative metaphor behind its name and mission.


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First autopilot death. Yesterday, the first fatal crash in a self-driving Tesla occurred. The Model S crashed into a truck in Florida. Tesla described the crash in a blog post yesterday. The company says a tractor trailer drove across the highway, perpendicular to the Model S, and neither the autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the trailer against the brightly lit sky. Tesla notes this is the first fatality in more than 130 miles of autopilot driving. NPR has more.

In other self-driving news, Intel has made a deal with BMW and Mobileye to develop its own self-driving car. Intel says it hopes to put self-driving cars out by 2021. Read more from the Oregonian. 

Separate snacking. Just yesterday, Mondelez — known for Oreo, Cadbury and Reece’s — announced a bid to purchase Hershey, creating the largest candy maker. That $23 billion bid has already been rejected by Hershey. Hershey’s board voted unanimously to reject the bid, announcing they determined no further need for discussion. The Washington Post has more.