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Good morning, Portland! While that dense fog returned this morning, the sun has already started to break through and we're set for another gorgeous winter day. Onto the headlines.
In local news:
• In an OPB interview, Portland Public Schools superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero reiterated the district’s mission to keep students in schools when possible and objected to allegations from school nurses that the district does not have specific metrics it’s using to determine when to move schools temporarily online. OPB’s Dave Miller also pressed Guerrero on the (very publicly) strained relationship between the district and teachers’ union. I think the full 20-minute segment is worth your time.
• Wordle—the puzzle app that gives players limited chances to guess a daily word—has taken the internet by storm, growing from 90 to 300,000 players just one month after debuting last November. Now there are over 2.7 million players. But, did you know that the word game was made by a University of Oregon alum? Sko Ducks!
• Unblocked and getting tickets to Aminé’s upcoming show? Wow, that must be one hell of a concert preview!
• The Alsea School District near Corvallis, Oregon, is no longer requiring masks in school settings after the school board voted to transfer decision making on COVID-19 protocols to the district, rebuking the Oregon Health Authority’s masking rules. The maskless rule went into effect Monday, but here’s the kicker: COVID cases are so high in the surrounding community that the district does not have enough staff to operate schools and had to close Monday. In-person maskless learning won’t start until Wednesday, at the earliest.
• The Springwater Corridor will see several temporary closures starting now until mid-March as Portland General Electric upgrades transmission towers along the bike and pedestrian path. Detours will occur Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 6 pm and path users can check this interactive map to see the corridor’s status.
In national news:
• Over 8,000 US troops are on “high alert” and prepared to possibly deploy to Europe as concerns about Russia invading Ukraine grow. Russian officials have denied planing to make a military move against Ukraine, but have stationed approximately 100,000 troops near the countries’ shared border. Russia’s reasons for a possible invasion of the Ukraine aren’t totally clear, but here’s a helpful explainer from the Times.
• Billionaire Mark Cuban launched an online pharmacy last week that aims to offer generic prescription drugs at an affordable price. According to Cuban, The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company sells prescription drugs at a 15 percent mark up over the manufacturing cost. In one instance, a 30-count of imatinib—a leukemia treatment—typically costs $2,502.60 after insurance at standard pharmacies. At Cuban’s online pharmacy, the drug costs $17.10.
• Opening statements have started in the trial against the three Minneapolis police officers who watched former officer Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd. The officers are charged with violating Floyd’s civil rights and failing to provide medical care. Defense attorneys for the three men argued that Chauvin called “all the shots” and the Minneapolis Police Department did not provide enough training.
• A Michigan woman discovered she won a $3,00,000 lottery prize while looking through her spam folder (for real!). After finding the notification email while looking through her spam, Laura Spears confirmed her winnings via her online lottery account. Inspired, I looked through my spam folder to find a widow offering 10 percent of her late husband’s inheritance—but only if I prove myself trustworthy—and an email from #1 Merc fan Bob who asks, “why won't you fucks tell the truth for once.” Ya win some, ya lose some.
• 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!
• Do you have blood and like doughnuts? Boy, do I have news for you:
Krispy Kreme says it will give 12 free glazed doughnuts to anyone who shows proof that they donated blood between now and the end of January. The U.S. is facing a historic national blood shortage.https://t.co/B3fRvAnNbp
— NPR (@NPR) January 25, 2022