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!

Sponsored
Offering Caregivers a $2,000 Sign-on Bonus!
Become an Albertina Kerr Caregiver & help people experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Former Portland Police Chief Charles Moose holds a press conference on the DC sniper shootings while serving as Montgomery Countys police chief in Maryland.
Former Portland Police Chief Charles Moose holds a press conference on the DC sniper shootings while serving as Montgomery County's police chief in Maryland. Stefan Zaklin / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Hopefully your Thursday dose of tryptophan is wearing off and you're ready to take on this new week bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The National Weather Services reports today's weather will be in the mid-50s with "rain and chance rain," so I suggest you prepare for... rain. Now, for the news you may have missed over the long weekend:


- Portland’s first Black police chief, Charles Moose, died on Thanksgiving at age 68. Moose led the Portland Police Bureau through most of the 1990s, but he was best known for the job he took next: Leading the manhunt for those responsible for the DC sniper attacks while serving as chief of the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland.

- Oregon state lawmakers are requesting $18 million from the state legislature’s emergency board to help resettle Afghan refugees arriving in the state. According to those lawmakers, Oregon is expecting to take in an estimated 1,200 refugees in the next year.

- Oregon has been failing to build enough housing to meet demand for decades. As housing prices across the state continue to tick upward, how can state leaders interrupt this trend? Mercury contributor Abe Asher breaks it down.

- Is this an Oregonian news story or the plot of an ancient sea shanty? You decide:

- The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's word of the year is—surprise!-"vaccine."

- Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim died Friday at age 91. Sondheim’s 60-year career includes writing songs for West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and many others.

- A 26-year-old man survived a nearly three hour flight from Guatemala to Miami on Saturday after stowing away in the airplane’s landing gear compartment. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, this stowaway technique has been attempted by 129 people in the world since 1947—and only 29 of them survived.

- Things Matthew McConaughey and I have in common:

- After South Africa identified a new variant of COVID-19, dubbed “Omicron”, several countries (including the US) promptly shuttered their borders to South Africa and other African nations. This reaction sparked immediate outcry from public health officials and political leaders who say the ban is premature, since little is known about the new variant’s impact.

- Here’s what we do know: According to a South African doctor, symptoms of the Omicron COVID variant she’s seen in patients have remained “very mild.”

- The Caribbean island nation of Barbados will become a republic Tuesday, officially removing the British monarchy as its head of state. This momentous move was impartially motivated by the Black Lives Matter movement and demands for reparations for slavery on the island, according to the Washington Post.

- I nominate a new national anthem: