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Good Afternoon, Portland! And never forget Jan 6—to those who celebrate never forget.

IN LOCAL NEWS:
• The state transportation department is prepping to spend a billion dollars on the Interstate 5 Rose Quarter corridor, aiming to reduce congestion for cars. Here's a wrinkle: The department’s own project analysis shows the design will increase the risk of cars hitting pedestrians. News Editor Isabella Garcia reports.

• None of the gun law tightening aspects of Measure 114, which voters approved in November, have gone into effect yet. And that's due to several lawsuits in both federal and state courts, as well as an injunction from a state circuit court judge. OPB policing reporter Jonathan Levinson and host Tiffany Camhi talked out what could soon change about the hold.

• It's so distressing that I frequently have Todd Rundgren's "Bang on the Drum All Day" stuck in my head, when I really mean this:

• Ever drive past that sign for Sp🏀rtsB⚽x on SE McLoughlin and wonder what it's about? It's not your typical sports bar inside a former Wendy's. There's a lot of story there—and some baller vegan food. 

• In this week's Portland food scene roundup: Beloved spots Cloudforest and Erica's Soul Food make triumphant returns and favorites like Bless Your Heart Burgers and Prince Coffee expand.

• Want to watch a comedy show that is (in the words of the 41 mathematician sages) "all killer no filler?" You're in luck because the Mercury's live, local comedy showcase night— Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy—has returned. Tickets are on sale now and going fast!

IN NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
14th time's the charm, Kevin! After four days and 13 (!) unsuccessful votes, the House of Representatives STILL hasn't been able to elect a House Speaker. The main blockage in the debacle has been 20 ultraconservative representatives, holding out their support of the Republican party's desired candidate, Kevin McCarthy. At the most recent vote, it appeared McCarthy had shored up 15 additional votes, but he still fell short by three. CNBC reports the House adjourned around 3:30 pm (Eastern Time), but plans to resume trying to do government at 10 pm. Prizes: What did some of those 15 Republicans WIN for being obstructionist? The Hill has a nice rundown / explainer of the concessions, among them a promise to create a subcommittee on “Weaponization of the Federal Government.” Oh, so they can investigate themselves? 

• Every blessed day of these House Speaker Shenanigans 2023 has led to iconic, dramatic, and downright goofy photojournalism work from inside Congress. So far, our favorites: "Is that Rep.-elect Matt Rosendale or Jim Carrey doing research for an upcoming role as Rep.-elect Matt Rosendale (?)," "let me go home (!)," "I heard you guys have Lifesavers back there, I am starving," "generalized despair," and "we are all this kid."

• And of course:

Idaho, Moscow Murders info dump! NYT is offering up ten revelations in the case. The Associated Press has a deeper look into the story of the white sedan.

• Everyone loves an article that, on a Friday, posits: Could these advances in drone warfare—happening in Ukraine, due to wartime necessity—contribute to the dawn of killer robits?

Revisionist history alert: Two applied mathematicians created a mathematical model to investigate stone skipping. Let go of your preconceived notions because their data suggests "potato-shaped" stones are better for skimming than flat ones.

• In closing, here we are sharing the weekend, despite vast differences. See you all Monday!