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GOOD AFTERNOON, PORTLAND! As we know, January sucks and is depressing. But one way to turn that frown upside-down is to snag tickets to the Mercury's upcoming UNDISPUTABLE GENIUSES OF COMEDY show—featuring the cream of the crop of Portland stand-ups. Trust me, this show will be freaking hilarious, and you absolutely will need a good laugh... after reading today's NEWS. (Just kidding! Or am I??)


• First things first, today in... WAHHHHHHH!!! 😭

On a personal note, I am thankful for every day I was blessed to work with Alex, who taught me a poop-ton and helped us through the worst times the Mercury has ever experienced (AKA the pandemic). I will always appreciate her clear-eyed, fair, and excellent reporting and wish Alex nothing but good fortunes in the future! (Also that means we'll soon be hiring a new reporter to join our team. Stand by for those details!)

• Oh! And Alex leaves the Mercury with this banger of a story, in which she interviewed the departing leaders of the NAACP who turned the organization around following the troubled, icky leadership of Elbert "E.D." Mondainé. (Why so icky? Read this jaw-dropping expose, also from Alex, which led to his ouster.) 

• Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell was sworn in today, making her the first female Multnomah County sheriff in the office's history. Her goals include "improving community trust in the agency, increasing transparency and reducing gun violence." Welp... GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

• Local head-scratching headline of the day: "Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, cagey and on crutches, hobbles into first City Council meeting of the year." Apparently the mayor was asked no less than *five times* why he was on crutches and "cagily" avoided a direct response. Eventually, his chief of staff was badgered into telling the O, “He just fell on ice.” Now I really don't believe him!

• Obstructionist Harney County Circuit Judge Robert Raschio has once again blocked part of the voter-approved Measure 114 that promised to be the toughest gun law in the nation (though not actually tough—at least for those who are able to acknowledge reality). This time around he put the kibosh on the background check requirement, blocking the measure in its entirety from being implemented until a full trial can be held. (Once again we see that because of *certain people,* the majority of us cannot have anything nice.)


• You love to see it... Republican Kevin McCarthy has LOST SIX VOTES so far in his bid to become House Speaker, and will most likely lose a seventh time when the House reconvenes tonight for yet another vote! Nutbag extremists from his party have so far successfully blocked him, and even their demigod Trump can't convince them to jump on McCarthy's janky bandwagon. All together now... HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!

• The Buffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition, but is showing signs of improvement after collapsing on the field during Monday's game against the Bengals. This has provided plenty of folks to rightly condemn the violence and inequity of the sport, while others are using the opportunity to... spread vaccine lies? (Right on brand, I guess.)

• California is expected to be hit by a double-whammy of horrible weather systems, with an atmospheric river followed by a bomb cyclone which could produce two-to-four inches of rain on the coast and ten inches (!!) in the mountains.

• And finally... accurate.