In today’s news, judge halts Obama’s overtime rule, scientists argue election was rigged and Sen. Edwards resigns to work on Knight campus.
1. Federal judge blocks extended overtime eligibility rule
The new overtime rules — requiring employers to pay employees overtime who worked more than 40 hours a week and make less than $47,476 a year — were scheduled to take effect Dec. 1. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, NPR reports. Mazzant is overseeing a case fighting the rule change and sided with the plaintiffs who argue the rules would increase government costs and eventually lead to layoffs.
2. Computer scientists suggest presidential vote was hacked in three states
Three scientists announced yesterday they believe Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were subject to electronic vote hacking, giving the presidency to Donald Trump. They argue there’s evidence to support this claim after finding that Hillary Clinton performed worse in counties that relied on electronic voting rather than paper ballots. But FiveThirtyEight’s statistician Nate Silver says the evidence doesn’t add up with further analysis, as the Oregonian reports.
3. Eugene senator steps down to work on UO’s new Knight campus
Sen. Chris Edwards submitted his letter of resignation Tuesday after 10 years in the Oregon Legislature, the Register Guard reports. Edwards was hired at the University of Oregon as its assistant vice president for strategic initiatives. He will lead the new science complex project funded by a $500 million pledge from Phil Knight. As for Edwards’ seat, the Democratic Party of Lane County will submit a list of three to five potential candidates to serve out the remaining two years in his term.
4. Macy’s buyer announces plans for Meier & Frank Building
KBS, which also owns the Commonwealth Building, purchased the downtown Macy’s building for $54 million earlier this month. The firm plans to redevelop the five story building into creative office and retail space, the Portland Business Journal reports. Construction won’t begin until 2017, after Macy’s closes in the new year.
5. Homeless student population increases again
The number of homeless students, more than 21,000 in Oregon, has increased for the past three years. The overall rate is nearly 4%, OPB reports. In some rural counties, the percentage of homeless students reached double digits. The Oregon Department of Education blames the rising stat on a lack of affordable housing.
6. Mortgage rates surge post-election, but have little impact on Oregon market
Donald Trump’s surprise election triggered a sudden rise in mortgage interest rates. The average rate is now up to 4.10%, the highest it’s been since July 2015, the Oregonian reports. Rising rates are unlikely to slow Oregon’s housing market however, which is one of the strongest in the nation.
7. Conservation groups push for Crater Lake Wilderness Area
Environmental groups including Oregon Wild and Environment Oregon are asking legislators to designate more than 500,000 acres in southern Oregon — including Crater Lake National Park — as a federal wilderness area, the Bend Bulletin reports. To make the designation official, a bill would need to be approved in both Oregon chambers and receive a signature from the President-elect. According to Oregon representatives, that’s unlikely to happen.
8. Slideshow: Can Jim Akenson rebrand hunting?
Our November/December issue featured an article about Jim Akenson, the Oregon Hunting Association’s first conservation director. Check out our slideshow to view Jim and Holly Akenson’s homestead in Enterprise, Akenson’s work counting elk in the Zumwalt Prairie and more.