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January 31, 2019: What to Know


  • Bingo Barnes
  • A polar vortex is expected to linger from the nation's midsection to the northeast today. On Wednesday, the merciless cold brought temperatures as low as minus 28 in Minneapolis, halting plane and train traffic, shutting down schools and prompting officials to open emergency centers. CNN reports that so-called "frost quakes" are occurring in Chicago. That's when underground water freezes and expands, causing the soil and rocks to crack and sometime boom.

  • President Trump made light of the situation by tweeting: "What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!" That, in turn, prompted the National Weather Service to tweet out a rare but pointed rebuke:
  • Meanwhile, USA Today has a story this morning on what scientists call a "dangerous" Antarctic glacier that now has a hole roughly two-thirds the size of Manhattan. The cavity is large enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, most of which has melted within the last three years, according to researchers.

  • Don Day at has a report about the popular Rockies Diner on Overland Road in Boise, which has been shuttered. It turns out that the Ada County Sheriff's Office has seized the property because business owners allegedly didn't pay unemployment contributions on employee wages for all of 2011 and 2012 and parts of 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
    UPDATE: On Friday, Feb. 1, Rockies Diner had reopened after owner Petros Paflias said he had put together a payment plan with state officials to cover back taxes.
  • In the Netherlands, a 96-day vigil at a church has come to an end after law enforcement agreed not to deport a family of refugees sheltering inside. The New York Times reports that Dutch law had forbade the police from interrupting church services.
  • An undocumented immigrant who worked at a Trump Golf Club for years has been invited to attend the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The woman, who spoke to The New York Times for a scathing expose on how the Trump Organization routinely employed undocumented workers, will be the guest of her Democratic congresswoman when Trump addresses Congress next week.
  • The Hollywood Reporter is predicting that this will be a dismal upcoming weekend at the box office when the Super Bowl "sacks" moviegoing. This January has already been rather discouraging at the North American box office, the worst in six years.

  • Google Trends is out with its annual survey of popular Super Bowl snacks in each state. And if it is to be believed, Idaho's most beloved snack for the big game is... wait for it... salad?!