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Okra Stew from Akadi
Okra Stew from Akadi ANNIE SCHUTZ

Good Morning, Portland! I had a dream that various employees of this publication were building a geodesic dome in a forest, and I think that bodes well for the future of the Portland Mercury. WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT MY DREAMS? FINE, here's the news!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• HOW LOW CAN WE GO? Yesterday, Oregon's number of COVID-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations hit the lowest numbers that we've seen so far in 2022. Go to bed, Omicron!

• Also yesterday, OPB reports that House Democrats introduced a bill proposing one-time payments of $600 for the 260,000 people who filed earned income tax credits in 2020. Those filers are generally low- and middle-income families.

• Akadi was one of the restaurants we were really pulling for during the pandemic, so we're delighted by this Portland Monthly piece about chef Fatou Ouattara's plans to open an African grocery store in North Portland.

• Don't sleep on former Portland comedian Alex Falcone's first ever comedy album, Vanilla. It's a pure dose of wife guy humor, and it was filmed here in Portland, at the Aladdin!

IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• President Joe Biden has ordered the release of Jan. 6 White House visitor logs, which show appointment information and people who were allowed to enter the White House that day. Trump had fought to keep the logs private. During the Obama administration the logs were made public every month and the Biden administration also follows this policy of transparency.

• In lawsuit news: Nine families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting settled with Remington—the maker of the firearm that was used in the shooting. The family of Cinematographer Halnya Hutchins, who died from a gunmisfire on a film set in October 2021,is suing actor Alex Baldwin. Since Bob Saget died in Florida (which has extremely permissive records laws) his family is suing to keep photos, videos, and other records from his autopsy from being released to the public.

• Vegans, to the thunderdome! Is laboratory-grown meat that has origins in animal stem cells vegan? Surely, some of you are fine with it, and some of you ARE NOT. (Accepting pitches: suzette@portlandmercury.com)

•Check out Matt Baume's top indie games dropping this month. His favorite is a pixel-art 2D dungeon-builder called Super Dungeon Builder where players can trade and explore other creators' dungeons online. Baume describes it as "sort of a make-your-own-Link-to-the-Past meets Mario Maker."

• Do you love someone or something? Then let them (and the world) know by sending them a FREE Mercury Reader Valentine! Submissions are open until February 17, lovebirds!

• With Omicron on the decline, this may be our last chance at scented candle goofs for the foreseeable future. Have a great day out there, fellow kids!

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