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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! For dreams that never will come true, am I strong enough to see it through? Go crazy is what I will do if I can't have you. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• On Tuesday, Oregon set a new single-day record for new COVID infections, with 4,450 cases being reported—over half of which came from the Portland area. Though at this point, the governor and Oregon health officials will continue to push vaccinations over the closure of restaurants or limiting the size of crowds at large events. This decision primarily stems from new modeling which indicates the less severe nature of Omicron which will keep many out of the ICU—though we can still expect record hospitalizations.
• Meanwhile, Portland Public Schools have put more stringent COVID protection requirements in place for students' extracurricular activities, including mandated mask-wearing for athletes. And the University of Portland has joined University of Oregon, Oregon State, and Southern Oregon University in requiring proof of booster shots for students, staff, and faculty.
• Hope you don't mind rain, because we're going to get a LOT more of it over the next few days, enough that the state is issuing a flood watch starting Thursday morning and stretching into Friday evening for all of western Oregon, and yep, that includes Portland.
Morning showers and steady rain all afternoon into early evening on this Wednesday. Portland rainfall today through tonight could reach an inch. A warm front tonight will lift snow levels to 6,000 feet, bring snow melt and adding to rising river levels. pic.twitter.com/jTgNwzP2jn— Rod Hill (@KGWRodHill) January 5, 2022
• Airbnb is attempting to combat racism on their site with a new program that only lists the guest's initials until checking out, since according to a Harvard Business School study, "[guests with] distinctly African-American names are roughly 16% less likely to be accepted than identical guests with distinctively White names."
• The scenario: She tested positive for COVID, and though he spent time with her all week, she's heartbroken that he excluded her from his family's holiday plans. Soooo... who's the butthole here? The honorable Dan Savage issues a ruling in the latest SAVAGE LOVE!
IN NATIONAL/WORLD NEWS:
• Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Trump-inspired domestic terrorists attacking the nation's capitol, and while more than 700 of these criminals have been arrested, it's currently unclear whether the Justice Department will be able to directly implicate the former president and his cronies. Meanwhile, the congressional panel investigating the attack are considering televising their hearings, and Trump has called off his planned January 6 press conference due to pressure from Republicans—though of course he's blaming it on those who are rightly investigating his probable involvement.
"By and large, the people who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 don't care about an insurrection, they don't care that he honest-to-God tried to overturn an election. They don't believe it was an insurrection," writes @MEPFuller https://t.co/feVWBmyfrC— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 5, 2022
• Today in "you love to see it... but actually don't want to see it": "Jan. 6 committee asks Fox News host Sean Hannity to cooperate with probe."
• After initially rejecting the idea, Chicago Public Schools have decided to return to remote learning for their students in the wake of the Omicron surge after the teachers' union argued that it was putting staff and kids in danger.
The news that Novak Djokovic, a prominent vaccination skeptic, received a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open, a procedure that suggested he remained unvaccinated against Covid, prompted outrage from some in Australia.https://t.co/WrlVw9WPWe— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 5, 2022
• And with all the terrible, grim news about COVID-19 and the Omicron surge, there is a ray of hope on the horizon: Experts are predicting that America will be in much better shape as soon as March.
• Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to bring a vote to the floor by January 17 to change the filibuster rules that are holding voting rights legislation hostage—but he's being held hostage once again by, you guessed it, Joe fucking Manchin.
Jon Stewart Calls Out J.K. Rowling for Anti-Semitic Goblins in ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise https://t.co/pI1V4YdxKo— Variety (@Variety) January 5, 2022
• And now... THE WEATHER REPORT: Rainy-rain-rain with a dollop of showers and drizzle and a high of 44.
• And finally, some personal news... the Mercury will immediately be changing the name of "Good Morning, News" to "Good Morning, Grandma." Please make a note of it!