The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Good afternoon, Portland! My lord, there is a lot of snow out there! But to offset it, there's also plenty of NEWS.


• In case you missed it (lol) the Portland area has been hit over the last 24 hours with a near-record breaking amount of snow. Thursday registered as the snowiest day in the city since 1943, with 10.8 inches piling up at the airport, stranding would-be air travelers, and leaving people across the city struggling to get home. To make matters more challenging, transportation officials weren't quite prepared for the severity of the storm. 

• Three emergency warming shelters are open all day today with temperatures still below freezing, while four more shelters will open at 8 pm this evening. The temperature is not forecasted to climb back above freezing until midday tomorrow. Isabella Garcia has more details. 

• City Council continues to cover itself in glory. 🙄 On Wednesday, council members voted to table a proposed May ballot measure that would have given voters the opportunity to create a new transparency watchdog, and had the audacity to claim that a) the city is already transparent, b) they didn't have time to read the proposal (they did, they just didn't bother), and c) it shouldn't be put on the ballot because... it would pass? (That one was courtesy of the mayor.) City Auditor Simone Rede was not shy in expressing her frustration... which was echoed across the city. Isabella Garcia has the full outrageous story. 

• Oregon is moving towards ending the mask mandate for healthcare settings that dates back to the earliest days of the pandemic, raising questions (and eyebrows) about how the state is handling the current phase of the pandemic, and how its healthcare system is holding up three years in. 

• It's POP QUIZ PDX time!  Strap on your brain for this week's super-fun trivia quiz—this week featuring Dame's latest award, poker-playing water-skiers (?), and sorry, Oregon counties... Idaho doesn't want you.  


• Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally, finally, FINALLY visited East Palestine, Ohio this morning nearly three weeks after the train carrying a medley of hazardous material derailed in the small town. A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that the derailment was preventable

• Turns out we're not the only ones being hit with snow. The Upper Midwest, New York, and parts of California and the southwest are also getting pummeled. What fun. 😑

• Kevin McCarthy told The New York Times that he just had to release the tapes of the January 6 insurrection attempt because "they do belong to the American public," and that's why he decided to give the tapes to Tucker Carlson alone to report on. Hakeem Jeffries called McCarthy's move an "egregious security breach." 

• Israeli forces killed at least 11 people and wounded at least 100 more in the Palestinian city of Nablus on Wednesday in one of the most violent Israeli operations in the West Bank since the end of the Second Intifada. The day ended—surprise, surprise—with Israel bombing Gaza in response to retaliatory rocket fire.

• Fintan O'Toole has an excellent piece today on whether resurgent English nationalism will lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom. We can only hope!

• Finally...