Morning Roundup: Legislators consider oil train safety bill; Startup secures smart-devices

Oregon Senators propose MOSIER safety bill, while Portland startup works to secure smart-devices.

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— Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and Oregon Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have proposed rules to tackle oil train safety. The U.S. DOT has proposed a requirement that railroads improve spill response and transparency. The Oregon bill, Mandate Oil Spill Inspections and Emergency Rules [MOSIER] — not to be confused with the town of Mosier, where the recent oil spill occurred — would improve investigations post-oil spill, and enforce a higher safety standard. OPB has more.


— Brexit’s worldwide impact left a mark in Bend. As stock prices dropped, so did mortgage interest rates — rates that have already been on a steady decline since 2013. The Bend Bulletin reports homes purchased have increased 3% in just the last quarter, partially due to these lowered interest rates.

— Portland startup Senrio recently completed a $1.5 million round of investment to begin providing online security for gadgets and equipment. Senrio targets devices that were not designed to be secure, such as connected refrigerators or cooling systems. Read more about the emerging security company from The Oregonian.

Porter Ranch Bank of America

— Bank of America will employ 102 fewer employees come fall. The bank announced it is closing its Hillsboro facility, which works with customers to set up and pay off mortgages and equity lines of credit. The Hillsboro Tribune reports the layoffs will occur through September.

— Salem is among the best cities for “worktirement.” This new label is the result of a study by personal finance company SmartAsset, which ranked cities nationwide on how easy it is for business owners to transition to a recreational lifestyle. Salem ranked 11th on the list. The Statesman Journal reports this is due to the 12.8% senior population, and a low senior unemployment rate coupled with affordable housing. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was ranked No. 1.

— As of last Friday, Portland has a new Mexican consul general: Francisco Maass Peña. Pena has some major tourism chops; before coming to Portland he was Mexico’s undersecretary of tourism. Pena replaces outgoing consul general Armando Ortiz. Look for an interview with Peña on later this month.

— Warner Pacific College president Andrea Cook discusses the college’s transformation, and how it’s fostering a new generation of leaders. Learn more in Research Editor Kim Moore’s interview with Cook.



— Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for an investigation to determine if short term rental agencies, like Airbnb, are driving up housing prices and taking housing away from long-term renters. Warren, and Sens. Brian Schatz and Dianne Feinstein, made the probe ask to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Reuters has more.

— German Bayer has increased its offer to purchase U.S. Monsanto to $125 a share, a $3 increase. Bayer first offered to purchase Monsanto in May, but the offer was rejected. Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said the new offer is the best opportunity available for Monsanto shareholders. Read more from the New York Times.