Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
In local news:
• A Springfield restaurant called Along Came Trudy is facing over $9,000 in state fines for violating pandemic safety protocols. Oregon OSHA's report on the restaurant mentions that they were up against "armed people standing outside the business who threatened regulatory agencies and their staff members." I guess what they said was true: Trudy really did come along, and she brought her shotgun with her.
• Some Oregon pharmacies will starting getting COVID-19 vaccine doses next week for the first time. The federal government is shipping a million doses out to pharmacies across the country, and Oregon's portion will go to some Costco, Albertsons, and Safeway locations. The vaccine will only be available for people currently eligible in Oregon.
• Markisha Smith, the current head of Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights, now has a second job title title: special advisor on racial justice and equity to Mayor Ted Wheeler. Smith recently spoke with the Mercury about her plans for the new gig.
• In carbonated beverage news: Pendleton-based hard beverage company Suzie's Seltzer is suing Anheuser-Busch over the beverage giant's upcoming Super Bowl ad. At issue: Anheuser-Busch's ad claims it produces the only "organic seltzer" on the market. Suzie, which labels its products as organic, is calling bullshit. Gonna crack open a beer and watch this hard seltzer drama continue!
In national news:
• You've definitely heard of Pfizer and Moderna. You've probably heard of Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson. But have you heard of Novavax? This underdog vaccine company may have yet another COVID-19 vaccine on the market later this year.
• Canada has designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist group. The country's public safety agency said the group meets the criteria of "reasonable grounds to believe that an entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity." In this case, that terrorist activity was the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
• Blast from the past:
NEW: Exactly one year ago today, the Iowa caucus was the first thing to go wrong in 2020.
This is a story about what we look for in one of our most flawed, complex, beloved, hated American traditions — and the man who experienced its collapse, Troy Price https://t.co/irT1p9DG0s
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) February 3, 2021
• Democrats in the US House are moving forward on a vote to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of all her committee seats, which would ensure she has little influence over which legislation actually makes it onto the House floor. Only a simple majority vote is needed to make this happen, meaning Democrats will be able to achieve it without any cooperation from Republicans—the majority of whom are more or less standing by their space-laser gal. The vote happens tomorrow.
• The Super Bowl typically brings a lot of business to host cities—including strip clubs. But with a very different Super Bowl happening this year, strippers in Tampa Bay are unsure of what to expect. (Yes, strip clubs and all sorts of business are fully open for business in Florida right now—what a vast, wild country.)
And just for fun:
• The Mercury's streaming music series continues! Here's a peek into our next show:
• We'll end today with a local fashion alert: