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February 1, 2019: What to Know


  • Bingo Barnes
  • The polar vortex, which set new record low temperatures in hundreds of cities and left at least 16 people dead in the Midwest, is beginning to ease this morning. But CNN says, "now comes the thermal whiplash." For instance, Minneapolis, which had a record low of minus 25, will have a high of 45 degrees on Sunday, Feb. 3, but is expected to drop back to minus 10 next Wednesday, Feb. 6.

  • The National Weather Service office in Boise says we shouldn't see anything nearly that extreme, but a moist trough of Pacific air will push into the region tonight, bringing showers to the Treasure Valley throughout the weekend and a mix of rain and snow on Monday, Feb. 4.
  • NWS
  • The nation's economy added 304,000 jobs to payrolls in January, but because so many people joined the ranks of those looking for work, the U.S. unemployment rate actually ticked up last month to 4 percent, the U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning. CNBC reports that the unemployment rate for African-Americans rose to 6.8 percent and the jobless rate for Hispanics jumped to 4.9 percent.
  • Idaho 
    ART G., CC BY 2.0
    Fish and Game says mountain lions were responsible for the deaths of two dogs in January. As a result, IDFG officials killed a cougar in a Ketchum subdivision last week. Earlier in the month, a mountain lion was killed by police in Lava Hot Springs after it was reported wandering through town, showing little fear of humans. Oregon and Washington saw two human fatalities caused by mountain lions in 2018.

  • The federal government shutdown suspended the duties of many of its employees, including park rangers at Northern California's Drakes Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore. During the course of the 35-day shutdown, trash piled up, attracting dozens of elephant seals. CBS News says the seals aren't heading back to the sea anytime soon,  especially since 35-40 new pups have been born on the beach and will be nursing from their mothers for the next couple of months.
  • The New York Times reports that Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) joined the growing list of hopefuls this morning when he announced that he would run for president in 2020.

  • Security is very tight in and around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta where Super Bowl LIII will be played this Sunday. The big game, which will air on CBS this year, will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time. The New England Patriots are a slim favorite to beat the Los Angeles Rams.
  • When the Motion Picture Academy announced that only two of the five songs nominated for Oscars this year would be performed live during the upcoming ceremony, there was widespread backlash. But Variety is reporting that the Academy has had a change of heart, meaning each of the songs—"Shallow" from A Star is Born, "All the Stars" from Black Panther, "I'll Fight" from RBG, "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns and "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs—will get their moment in the spotlight.