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Good morning, Portland! Let's dive right into the headlines.
In local news:
• The Portland Thorns have completed their investigation into how the club handled sexual misconduct allegations against former coach Paul Riley. However, no findings will be released to the public until additional investigations by the NWSL and US Soccer are complete. It's not clear when the two investigations are expected to finish.
• Portland officials are considering advocating for public records law restrictions after a years-long lawsuit ended in a $250,000 payout for a public records advocate. The records in question identified Portlanders who used a city service to report homeless encampments. The city denied the request in 2017 citing privacy concerns, but were forced to release the records this week after a judge determined the request valid under current public records law. City council members believe the state’s public records laws should do more to protect the identity of private citizens while public records advocates believe the city overuses exemptions already.
The beauty of Oregon's coastline can be explored by a trail several hundred miles long. But about 10% of the Oregon Coast Trail has some problematic gaps for hikers, so state officials want to resolve the issues. 🌊 https://t.co/w8iUQq3Eiy
— OPB (@OPB) January 25, 2022
• Amid an unprecedented blood shortage, Oregon US Senator Ron Wyden is pushing federal lawmakers to expand eligibility rules to give blood, particularly when it comes to rules that bar some LGBTQ people from donating. The US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t allow males who have had “sexual contact with with another male in the last three months” to donate blood, citing the risk of becoming infected with HIV. Wyden argues that the rule is a hold over from the AIDS crisis and not based in science because all donated blood is screened for diseases.
• Washington truckers can’t find a place to pee. According to short- and long-haul truckers, the pandemic has exacerbated a years-long port-a-potty crisis at shipping ports where truckers are commonly waiting up to six hours thanks to supply chain backlogs. Each Washington port has a maximum of just four port-a-potties for thousands of truckers.
• In Salem school district news:
I'm gonna collect these for @SalemReporter later this week once I get proper credits for the young artists, but our school district's tradition of having elementary school kids draw portraits of school board members in January continues to be hilarious. pic.twitter.com/gIjHRqV2Xg
— Rachel Alexander (@rachelwalexande) January 27, 2022
In national news:
• The Coast Guard is still looking for 38 missing people off the coast of Florida after a boat capsized in a storm four days ago. Officials believe the boat was carrying migrants as part of a human smuggling operation and have launched a criminal investigation. “You’re dealing with criminal organizations that have no value for human life or safety. It’s really victimizing the migrants,” said a Homeland Security Agent.
• Neil Young gave Spotify an ultimatum: Young’s music library, or Joe Rogan’s vaccine misinformation-peddling podcast. Spotify, the exclusive streaming service for The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, chose Rogan and is now in the process of removing all of Young’s music from the streaming platform. Rogan has routinely broadcast COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation to his 11 million podcast listeners throughout the pandemic, triggering thousands of doctors to sign a letter asking Spotify to stop enabling his idiocy.
The Navy says it has discharged 23 active-duty sailors for refusing the coronavirus vaccine. It's the first time the Navy has taken that disciplinary action over the mandatory shots. https://t.co/TVkFogZJkt
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 27, 2022
• If you’ve ever been on Instagram, you’ve probably seen an ad for fast-fashion retailer Fashion Nova (think off-brand Kardashian vibes). Turns out, Fashion Nova has been suppressing negative online reviews since 2015 and only posting four and five star reviews from customers on its website. As a result, the company has to pay a $4.2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
• A school board in Tennessee banned Maus, a Pulitzer prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from being taught in eighth grade classrooms. Maus details how the author’s parents survived the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War Two, depicting Nazis as cats and persecuted Jewish people as mice. According to the school board, the novel was banned because it contains swear words and a naked illustration of a MOUSE (?!?!?!?!). This is your reminder to vote in your local school board elections.
• And finally, don’t call me, I’m busy reliving my childhood:
The kids' TV show "Zoom" turns 50 this year.
To celebrate, over 100 episodes will be made available for online streaming. And original cast members are reuniting on — you guessed it — Zoom.https://t.co/L3SiMCckjL
— NPR (@NPR) January 27, 2022