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'!)

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In local news:

• Portland city attorneys have agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the family of Quanice Hayes, a Black teenager who was fatally shot by a Portland cop in 2017. In doing so, the city will be absolved of responsibility for Hayes' death. While the decision will bring welcome closure to a stressful legal battle, the Hayes family is determined to continue their fight for police accountability outside of the courtroom.

• Welp, time to yet again update my stationery!

• Over the last three weeks, Oregon has seen a big improvement in new COVID-19 cases. That means that 16 counties will soon be moving down a risk category—including Washington and Clackamas counties, which have been downgraded from "high" to "moderate risk" by Gov. Kate Brown. Multnomah County is staying put in "high risk" for now.

• Seniors in the Portland metro area have experienced glitches when trying to book appointments for the COVID vaccine. Legacy Health says it's "aware" of the problem and is working to fix it, per KGW.


In national news:

• In statehouses across the country, Republicans are pushing a torrent of new bills that would make it harder for people to vote in a US election. I guess the lesson they took from the 2020 election was "cheat more," rather than "create policies people like."

• We've all heard about the new COVID variants that have entered the United States in the last month or so—so exactly how worried should we be about them? Learn more in this what-passes-for-good-news-these-days story from the Los Angeles Times.

• All hail this ridiculous (but safe!) new USPS truck design:

• Surprising absolutely fucking no one, a close ally of Marjorie Taylor Greene (the crossfit lady turned space laser lady turned congresswoman) took part in the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

And just for fun:

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• 2020 was an absolutely brutal year for brunch—but with solid takeout options at the ready, you can flip the brunch narrative for 2021. Suzette Smith has more in Takeout Club.

• Hell yeah: