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Good Morning, Still-Frozen Portland! Despite the hopes of thaw we harbored mid-week, the ice of PDX Arctic Blast 2024 is taking it's darn time to melt. It's very frustrating, and a great many non-emergency institutions are closed today. I am like the announcer at the Old Quarter: Portland Public School are closed. All MAX lines except a limited portion of the Blue are shuttle buses. On Thursday evening, Gov. Tina Kotek declared a statewide State of Emergency due to the continuing ice storm effects. 

IN LOCAL NEWS:
The ice storm hit us all differently—some are scrambling for childcare, some are stuck at home, some are struggling to find shelter. Small businesses in your area may be likewise financially drowning, after losing days of business. Han Ly Hwang of Korean barbecue food cart Kim Jong Grillin posted some ideas of ways Portlanders can support their favorites. He expanded upon it with Mercury culture editor Suzette Smith, describing just what's so perilous about being a frozen food cart during a January Arctic Blast.

• So weird to talk about myself in the third person—I also appeared on "what Portland's talking about" podcast City Cast PDX, this morning, to discuss the story.

• Speaking of heroes, 18-year-old Portlander Majiah Washington saved a baby from being electrocuted by a downed power line on Wednesday morning. The story is deeply tragic, as the fallen line claimed the lives of three of the baby's family members. “I just did what any sane person would do,” Washington told officials. That's just what a hero would say.

• It's worth pointing out that Multnomah County closed its warming shelters on Wednesday—though we can all agree the city is still hella frozen—after a record-breaking evening where the shelters served over 1200 people and while it kept its own offices closed. Seems like maybe it's too dangerous to be outside and travel... unless you're homeless? Still, I have been surprised to see some unexpected NIMBYs raising this flag because they love to criticize the county. But okay.

• Today in 'kids are alright,' Beaverton Schools are closed today, but yesterday they announced a plan to be open [which failed]. The school was subsequently ROASTED by its students. Check the comments for fun and an education.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Beaverton School District (@beavertonsd)

• If you're reading these news bites and thinking 'wow, this is really making me not want to leave the house today,' you're in good company. This week's Hear in Portland music column touches on some local hip-hop releases you should know about and a local music podcast worthy of binging from the comfort of the many blankets you're under. 

• But while you're under the covers, if you find yourself dreaming of future fun, snag tickets to two upcoming Mercury events: the HUMP! film festival (featuring short and absolutely filthy dirty flicks from your friends and neighbors) and the Undisputable Geniuses of Comedy (featuring the funniest folks in Portland with special guest Kyle Kinane)!

• Continuing that thought, it's almost time for the Friday morning ticket drop. Our EverOut calendar team found some great shows that should be on your radar. Like... Sum 41? No, but there are tickets for shows that are good, like the 2024 Americana Harvest Fest series at Topaz Farm. They just announced a Margo Cilker show on August 15. Also in EverOut's picks...I'm sorry what? Cowboy Bebop Live

IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• We know that former President Donald Trump appealed a Colorado Supreme Court decision to keep him off the 2024 primary election ballot, and earlier in the month the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, reasoning that voters need a decision about this sooner rather than later. On Thursday, Trump's lawyers urged the SCOTUS "to put a swift and decisive end" to attempts to keep him off the ballot. SCOTUS will hear oral arguments on February 8 and hope to decide before Super Tuesday, March 5. They have also agreed to hear a case about the prosecution of January 6 rioters.

• Macy's announced Thursday that is it laying off 13 percent of its corporate work force, including some workers with Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury. The company also plans to close five of Macy's more than 560 stores. The layoffs are related to a strategy from the company's new chief executive. Moving against trend, no one is blaming Portland shoplifters... yet.

• Condé Nast announced Wednesday—via a memo from Anna Wintour—that music criticism publication Pitchfork is going to be merged with men's magazine GQ.

• At the beginning of this year, I got several earnest emails about TikTok turning 2024 into the Year of Charcuterie. Reading now that the CDC has expanded a warning about salmonella in prepackaged big box meat snacks, I can see that things have spiraled out of control. The CDC has advised retailers and consumers to throw out Busseto brand Charcuterie Sampler from Sam’s Club or Fratelli Beretta brand Antipasto Gran Beretta from Costco.

• And now here with a comment on the troubling situation is a celebrity:

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mohanad Elshieky (@mohanad.elshieky)