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They said we dont have to wear masks outside anymore! Okay Grandma, lets get you to bed.
"They said we don't have to wear masks outside anymore!" "Okay Grandma, let's get you to bed." iStock / Getty Images Plus

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

• Oregonians no longer need to wear masks in crowded outdoor settings, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced today. “This decision, which takes effect immediately, reflects the overall progress we’ve seen on the COVID-19 front here in Oregon,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen during a press conference.

• New census data shows that Portland's Black population increased in the last 10 years—but where Black Portlanders live is changing. While the historically Black neighborhoods in Northeast and North Portland are becoming whiter, more Black people are moving to the edges of town, like east Portland and Washington County.

• In case you missed this important reporting yesterday:

• Randy Severe—a saddle maker in East Oregon who was the former president of the Pendleton Round Up board of directors—died Sunday morning from COVID-19 complications. Severe had contracted COVID after attending this year's Round Up in September, which had been a superspreader event.

In national news:

• Darrell Brooks, the man who drove through a Wisconsin Christmas parade over the weekend and killed six people, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Brooks' sixth victim, a child, died today, and a sixth charge will likely be added soon.

• A federal judge ruled today that three huge pharmacy retail chains—Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart—share responsibility for the opioid addiction crisis, meaning the companies will have to pay up to help fix the problem. While drug companies like Purdue and Johnson & Johnson have already faced similar charges, this is the first time any pharmacy chains are being held legally responsible for fueling people's opioid addictions.

• In other news about bad actors being held legally responsible:

• Kyle Rittenhouse, the self-defense killer murderer, sat down with Fox propagandist Tucker Carlson for a nauseating interview that aired last night. Rather than giving Fox News more eyeballs, read Vox's spot-on analysis of the interview instead.

And just for fun:

• If you’re a guest at an upcoming festive fall dinner—be that in recognition of Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Native Americans’ National Day of Mourning, or a general harvest feast—then you might be wondering what you can bring to the celebration. Fortunately, no host will ever resent you for bringing an extra beverage. And in the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of autumnally appropriate options to choose from.

• Finally: The Grammy nominees were announced this morning, and Oregon's own Japanese Breakfast was nominated in a stacked Best New Artist category! To celebrate, listen to her stellar album Jubilee, which the Mercury is a big fan of.