The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

a soccer team on a field kneeling
The Southridge High School girls soccer team kneeling in protest of the Newberg School Board's ban on Black Lives Matter flags. Southridge Athletics

TGIF, Portland! Here are some headlines to take you into the weekend.

In local news:

• Two weeks after returning to in-person learning, Portland Public School students and teachers are reporting cramped hallways, inconsistent masking, and delays in COVID exposure notifications. So far, PPS is reporting 175 COVID cases and nearly 700 students and staff have had to quarantine.

• As the Newberg School Board continues to pursue a ban Black Lives Matter and Pride imagery, the Southridge High School girls soccer team silently protested the ban by kneeling during the national anthem before their game against Newberg Wednesday. Despite eyewitness reports and photos of the protest, Newberg High School’s athletic director claimed it didn’t happen.

• After finding its footing with stockists, pop-ups, and a cart this past summer, Nico’s Ice Cream is making the leap to a brick and mortar this November. Janey Wong caught up with ice cream maker Nico Vergara about his blockbuster summer and meteoric rise in Portland’s frozen treat scene.

• Ten, Tiny, Talks—a hybrid artist residency and multi-disciplinary festival—is elevating Black and Indigenous LGBTQ artists in Portland while making sure they get paid fairly. The expansive festival has staged a drag show, artist talks, a virtual play, a circus show and more, and concludes in early November.

• Looking for a surreal, chaotic movie night? Look no further than Prisoners of the Ghostland:

In national and world news:

• An advisory committee for the FDA recommended booster shots for people 65 and older who received the Pfizer vaccine during a Friday meeting. The committee also recommended a third shot for people who are at high risk of catching COVID, like healthcare workers and emergency responders, but recommended against approving a Pfizer booster for people under 65. The FDA will take the recommendation into consideration and is expected to decide whether or not to approve a third shot of Pfizer for emergency use next week.

• Afghan civilians were killed in a US drone strike last month, not Islamic State extremists as first reported, the Pentagon announced Friday. US defense officials have defended the strike for weeks, claiming the targeted car was carrying explosives that posed a threat to the Kabul airport. The driver of the car was actually a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organization and there is no evidence the car contained explosives. Ten people, included seven children, died from the US air strike.

• Law enforcement departments in Washington D.C. are “fully activating” in preparation for a Saturday rally at the Capitol in support of rioters arrested after the January 6 insurrection. Police are unsure of how many people the rally may attract, but are preparing for several hundred protesters and counter-protesters.

• A police chief in Waterloo, Iowa, is facing intense criticism from current and former officers for *checks notes* removing the department's longtime insignia, which resembles a Ku Klux Klan dragon.

• Hey Savage Love fans! Get your tix now to see Dan Savage live and in-person on October 2 for a reading of his newest book, Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of 26 never-before-published essays! (Plus, paid attendees get their own copy of the book!)

Support The Portland Mercury

• And I'll leave you with this beautiful weather forecast for this weekend:

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30