Morning Roundup

In today’s news, gas explosion destroys NW Portland businesses, Sanders throws his support behind M97 and Portland clocks in as the No. 5 best city for business.

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1. Historic Portland building leveled by explosion

A gas leak at Northwest 23rd and Glisan Street resulted in a massive explosion. Portland Bagelworks was leveled, as was Fetch Eyewear and Art Work Rebels Tattoo Parlor. The three businesses were housed in the 110-year-old corner building. The leak occurred after a nearby construction worker hit a gas line, the Oregonian reports. Eight people were injured, three of whom were firefighters. Fortunately, no injuries were life-threatening.

2. Bernie Sanders endorses Measure 97

Sanders announced his endorsement during a Portland rally yesterday, OPB reports. “At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is time for large profitable corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes,” he said. Polls show M97 could go either way, so the endorsement from Oregon’s chosen Democratic presidential nominee could certainly hold weight.

3. Portland among nation’s best places for business, careers 

Portland received the No. 5 ranking from Forbes. Denver snagged the No. 1 spot for the second year and our northern neighbor Seattle took No. 4. 

4. Portland’s home values also rose the fastest

A Zillow report found Portland home values rose 14.6% in the last year. That’s compared to 5.5% nationally. Rent prices were also among the fastest rising in the nation at 7%. The Portland Tribune reports only Seattle and Minneapolis witnessed larger increases.  

5. Tech group targets niche insurance market

Portland-based Associated Technologies Council is targeting companies in Bend that need health insurance. The council offers discounted coverage for small tech firms that might not be able to afford employee coverage individuals, the Bend Bulletin reports. 

6. Powerlist: Law firms

We ranked the top law firms in Oregon and Southwest Washington.