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:
• The Sacred Fence™ that had surrounded the Federal Courthouse during last year's boisterous protest season was taken away via truck last week—but officials stopped the truck 15 miles out of town and told them to bring it back after demonstrators immediately began breaking windows and spraying graffiti on the building.
• The Portland teachers' union has reached a tentative agreement with PPS to resume in-person classes for elementary students, with children in K-1st grade returning April 1, and grades 2-5 starting back up on April 5. Kids in grades 6-12 are still on schedule to return to school on April 19.
• A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Malheur Refuge militia member (and incessant dumbbell) Ammon Bundy after he refused to wear a required mask in an Idaho courthouse.
Rep. Diego Hernandez’s resignation went into effect today. Here are the three finalists to replace him:https://t.co/oprE9n8P5h— OPB (@OPB) March 15, 2021
• Thirsty for some likker? Along with great meats, Bullard's cocktail program is also producing some drinkable greatness. Our Janey Wong investigates in this edition of "Cocktail To-Go Club!"
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• Two Trumpy chuds have been arrested for assaulting and using bear spray on a police officer during the January 6 domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol. The same officer died a day after the riots—though at this point, the chuds are only being charged with assault. (Note: I've been criticized lately for referring to Trump supporters as "chuds," though I am happy to start referring to them as "choads" if that's preferable. Let me know.)
The two men arrested in the assault of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick during the riot are expected to appear in federal court today. The circumstances surrounding Sicknick’s death remain unclear, and a final cause of death has not been determined. https://t.co/LWNukGVIlY— The Associated Press (@AP) March 15, 2021
• Because they can't possibly win any other way—something they readily admit—Texas Republicans are joining GOP-run states across the country in pushing for more restrictive anti-voting laws (a whopping two dozen of 'em).
• Good news! The Senate has confirmed Representative Deb Haaland to head the Department of the Interior, making her the first Native American to become a cabinet secretary. Now she can get down to work (i.e. reversing everything Trump did for the last four years).
• Several European countries—including Germany, France, Italy, and Spain—are putting the kibosh on the AstraZeneca vaccine after some recipients reported developing dangerous blood clots... though the company as well as international regulators say there's no evidence that the vaccine is the cause.
• To the surprise of no one, Trump staffers spent their last days in office trying to jump COVID lines, using their influence and job titles to get the vaccine before essential workers. RIGHT. ON. BRAND.
• So much for the "cool Pope": The Vatican says it will “welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations” (JESUS CHRIST!), but are officially refusing to bless same-sex unions. Whenever the Vatican and the Royal Family want to retire and move to a far-off island, it's okay with the rest of us!
i wish the vatican was as hard on pedophilia by their clergy as they are on a loving marriage between two consenting adults— God (@thegoodgodabove) March 15, 2021
• For those who are interested in such things, the Oscar nominees have arrived, and apparently they're more diverse than ever... though that particular bar is loooooooow. Also David Fincher's Mank is leading the noms, including the "Best Movie to Put You to Sleep within 20 Minutes" category.
• HELLO, STONERS! You will be pleased to know that SPLIFF—the short flick film festival about cannabis and all things "stoned"—is kicking off April 16-24 and you can get your tickets NOW. (So hurry up before you forget... because you know you will.)
• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Another cold morning will turn into a sunny day tomorrow with a high of 54!
• And finally, if your pet doesn't do this, you need to reexamine your priorities.