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!

Helping you create a space uniquely yours for work or play, with style and art, your way.
Custom framing, photo frames, printing on metal, paper and canvas.
A person lying down giving blood
The nation is experiencing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, according to the Red Cross. Nikola Stojadinovic / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Here are the latest headlines to start your day.

In local news:

• Sea stars, anemones, mussels, and other creatures that live in Oregon’s tide pools are becoming less resilient to climate change and may eventually disappear, a new Oregon State University study suggests. “These systems will come back if we give them the breathing room,” OSU researcher Sarah Gravem said. “If we listen to the folks that are at the forefront of climate solutions, it will be fine.”

• If you’re seeing shows right now, may we recommend Forty Feet Tall at Mississippi Studios tonight? The local alt-rock four piece has been described as “if The Strokes and The Struts ran headfirst into each other”—aka, very good. Chase Hutchinson has the preview!

The city of Portland and the US Department of Justice have reached a tentative agreement on how to bring Portland back into compliance with a 2014 federal settlement aiming to curb excessive force by Portland police. The agreement—which includes requiring rank-and-file officers to be investigated for improper use of force during the 2020 protests and the federal department reserving final approval of any city body camera policy—will go to Portland City Council for a final vote later this month.

• If you’ve been wanting to get into the electric car game, now is the time. Oregon has doubled the cash rebates for low- and moderate-income households that buy used or new electric vehicles as of this year. Oregonians can now receive up to $7,500 in cash rebates for their purchase.

In national news:

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky is in hot water (for the second time this week) after commenting that it’s “really encouraging” that the Omicron variant is mostly killing Americans with underlying health conditions. After first catching flack for not being available for media interviews, Walensky’s comment during a Good Morning America interview (that was supposed to address the CDC’s lack of media availability) sparked outrage from disability rights advocates who say that the CDC is perpetuating the idea that the deaths of disabled people are acceptable.

• The Red Cross has declared its first-ever blood crisis due to a severe low in national blood supply. Last year, the Red Cross saw a 34 percent drop in new donors thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, according to the organization.

• Health insurance companies will be required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per person per month starting Saturday, January 15. Depending on the insurance provider, Americans will either be able to purchase home tests for free using insurance or submit receipts for reimbursement. Okay, good start—now make insulin free.

• A deadly fire in a New York City apartment building this weekend sent 72 people to NYC hospitals—hospitals that were already overrun with COVID-19 patients. In a fortunate/unfortunate turn of events, a bulk of the fire victims were children who were able to be treated by pediatric emergency rooms that aren’t as taxed by the pandemic.

• California is now the first state to require insurance providers to cover the cost of at-home STI tests. State health officials are hoping the move will help combat the STI epidemic that has raged throughout the course of the pandemic while public health departments have been focusing their energy on COVID.

• It’s back for 2022! America’s sexiest, funnest dirty movie fest, HUMP! Coming at ya starting February 24 at Revolution Hall—GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

• Good boy, Rocky: