TIME animals

See Firefighters Resuscitate Unconscious Cats

Clackamas Fire District 1

After a blaze, they saved two cats with feline-fitted oxygen masks

These firefighters are rescuing cats—not from trees, but from smoke inhalation.

After extinguishing a blaze in Oregon City, Ore. on Monday, rescue workers discovered two unconscious cats on the second floor of the house, Clackamas Fire District 1 says in a press release.

The firefighters brought the cats outside and treated them with special pet resuscitation equipment—plastic, cone-shaped oxygen masks fitted to the animals’ size that funnel air to their lungs.

Both cats revived and were taken to the vet by the homeowner’s son.

The fire department carries its pet equipment on all calls, and stocks masks for cats and dogs, officials say. And this isn’t the first time the department’s machines have added to a feline’s nine lives: it’s the second time in two months that the equipment has helped revive cats.

TIME cities

Know Right Now: Washington, D.C. Legalizes Pot

Four other states have already legalized recreational marijuana

Recreational marijuana use and adult possession (up to two ounces) became legal in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, but there’s still no way to legally buy the drug. Watch today’s Know Right Now to find out more.

TIME States

Six ‘Portlandia’ Sketches that Explain Oregon’s Big Political Scandal

Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks to the media as he presents his two-year state budget proposal from his ceremonial office at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., on Dec. 1, 2014.
Thomas Patterson—AP Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks to the media as he presents his two-year state budget proposal from his ceremonial office at the State Capitol in Salem, Ore., on Dec. 1, 2014.

Anyone who’s ever lived in Oregon can tell you that the TV series “Portlandia,” which makes fun of the state’s culture of earnest, quirky liberaldom, feels closer to a documentary than a comedy.

The state’s recent political scandal, which ended this week when a new governor was sworn in, has proven that even more true. The months-long debacle played out essentially like one big sketch from the IFC show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein.

In a nutshell: John Kitzhaber, Oregon’s denim-wearing governor, resigned after a series of revelations involving his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, a clean energy activist with a dodgy past.

For those of you just tuning into the Beaver State’s quirky politics, here are six sketches that explain the big scandal.

“The Dream of the ‘90s”

The sketch: A man explains to his friend (in song!) that the 1990s never ended in Portland: “Do you remember the ‘90s? … There’s a place where that idea still exists as a reality.”

The scandal: Kitzhaber was governor during much of the 1990s, then returned to run for two more terms in the 2010s.

“No Grocery Bag”

The sketch: A man forgets his reusable bag while grocery shopping at Zupan’s Markets and the checkout clerks literally don’t know what to do.

The scandal: Kitzhaber and Hayes bonded over their love of sustainable energy. She drew controversy for playing a role in his clean energy policy while running a firm that promotes it.

“Late in Life Drug Use”

The sketch: An older couple decide that it’s never too late to try drugs for the first time, but they do so earnestly: “I want to approach this like we would buy a car.”

The scandal: Hayes and her then-boyfriend bought 60 acres of remote farmland in 1997 that she admits was intended to be a pot farm.

“Cool Wedding”

The sketch: Two hipsters meeting with a wedding planner say they want a cool wedding: “I don’t even really believe in marriage that much.”

The scandal: Hayes confessed to entering into an illegal marriage with an Ethiopian immigrant for $5,000 so that he could become a U.S. citizen.

“A Song for Portland”

The sketch: The earnest, absent-minded mayor of Portland commissions two people to write a theme song for the city in an awkward interview.

The scandal: Kitzhaber summoned Secretary of State Kate Brown to return to Oregon, then asked her why she’d come in what she called a “bizarre and unprecedented situation.”

“Disappointing Gay Man”

The sketch: A woman is disappointed when her gay brother turns out to be a total bro who met his boyfriend at an ESPN Zone: “I got totally ripped off on the ‘gay relative’ thing.”

The scandal: Brown, Kitzhaber’s successor, is the first openly bisexual governor. She said her parents once told her “it would be much easier for us if you were a lesbian.”

TIME Environment

Oregon Chub Becomes the First Fish to Be Taken Off the Endangered Species List

This undated photo provided by Freshwaters Illustrated via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an Oregon chub, right, swimming with baby salmon in the McKenzie River in Oregon
Jeremy Monroe—AP This undated photo provided by Freshwaters Illustrated via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an Oregon chub, right, swimming with baby salmon in the McKenzie River in Oregon

In 1993, there were less than a thousand of them

Making history, the Oregon chub became the first fish ever removed from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Animals on Tuesday.

The minnow, unique to the state’s Willamette River Basin, was listed in 1993, when the population dipped below 1,000. Today the number has climbed to over 140,000 and the minnow can be found in more than 80 locations, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

“This effort succeeded because of an extraordinary partnership between federal and state agencies, landowners and other stakeholders who brought this species and ecosystem back from the brink of extinction in just over 20 years,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

While the Oregon chub is the first fish to be saved, 28 animals, including America’s iconic bald eagle, have also been rescued.

TIME LGBT

Oregon’s Kate Brown Becomes First Openly Bisexual U.S. Governor

Then-Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is shown during a celebration at the Oregon Historical Society to mark the 156th anniversary of Oregon's admission to the union as the 33rd state in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14, 2015.
Don Ryan—AP Then-Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown is shown during a celebration at the Oregon Historical Society to mark the 156th anniversary of Oregon's admission to the union as the 33rd state in Portland, Ore., Feb. 14, 2015.

Sworn in Wednesday after Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as the governor of Oregon Wednesday, after the resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber last week.

Brown will be the first openly bisexual U.S. governor in history, the sixth woman currently to lead a state and the second woman to serve as governor of Oregon.

The former Secretary of State was summoned to Oregon from Washington, D.C., last week as Kitzhaber contemplated his resignation amid an ethics investigation involving his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes. Calling the situation “bizarre and unprecedented,” Brown told the governor that she and her staff were ready to serve if he decides to resign.

Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday afternoon. By Oregon law, the secretary of state becomes governor in the case of the governor’s resignation. She assumed office Wednesday.

Brown becomes the highest-ranking openly bisexual elected official in the country (Representative Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual member of Congress in 2013). But she isn’t the first LGBT governor to serve — the first was New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who resigned three months after he came out in 2004. Brown has been married to husband Dan Little for the past 15 years.

Brown’s political career in Oregon dates back to 1991, when she was appointed to a vacant House seat. The Oregonian describes her tenure as secretary of state as “relatively nondescript” but noted she has a reputation for collaboration.

Read next: Oregon Governor Kitzhaber Announces His Resignation Amid Scandal

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME birds

An Angry Owl Is Attacking Joggers and Stealing Their Hats in Oregon

Some believe the owl is collecting the hats to make a nest

At least four people have been attacked by an owl over the past month in Salem, Oregon, prompting officials to issue warnings to early morning joggers and park visitors.

One jogger said the owl whacked him so hard he thought he was having a stroke. According to Reuters, signs near Bush’s Pasture Park now warn people to avoid jogging before dawn or to consider putting on a hard hat.

Members of a bird conservancy group believe a barred owl is responsible, a species notorious for crowding out the smaller, endangered spotted owl. The owl could be more aggressive because of nesting season – it is believed to be collecting hats for its nest.

No one has been seriously hurt in any of the incidents, but the city’s parks superintendent said officials have never heard of a case like it before.

36-year-old Brad Hilliard was jogging when the bird “swooped down” and pulled the hat off his head “like it was nothing!” He has since returned a couple of times to look for his hat, but says it hasn’t turned up yet. “I just assume it’s being used in a nest!”

[Reuters]

TIME Food & Drink

Toast Portlandia’s 5th Season With This Weird Oregon Vodka

Rogue Ales teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut

RogueRogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka

When the producers of IFC’s Portlandia went looking for a beer partner for seasons 1 and 2, it’s clear why they chose Oregon’s Rogue Ales. The Fred Armisen-Carrie Brownstein series, which began not-so-gently skewering hipster culture in Portland four years ago, is, shall we say, idiosyncratic. And Rogue, based in Newport, is equally eccentric. So with the launch of Portlandia’s fifth season on Jan. 8, we thought it was only fitting to find out what Rogue has been up to lately. Also, they sent us a bottle of seriously strange vodka, which piqued our interest.

Rogue Ales and sister Rogue Spirits have been collaborating with local purveyors to create one-of-a-kind beverages in an initiative they call “A Collision of Crazies.” In the case of the vodka, they teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut, whose pink boxes are a common sight among tourists (and locals) who willingly wait in line for up to 30 minutes to buy some of the planet’s oddest doughnut creations. And when a doughnut company—especially one that sells branded bikini underwear and 3D glasses in its online merch store—is partly responsible for creating a vodka, you can be assured it is not a drink you will have tasted before. The result: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka. (See below for a sampling of no-nonsense reviews from some of my colleagues.) Retailing for around $40 a bottle, the vodka is available at retail outlets in 40 states or by contacting Rogue via its website.

This is not the first time Rogue has partnered with Voodoo Doughnut; they’ve also collaborated on a series of popular beers, including Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale, a nifty time-saver for those who like to get tipsy while eating dessert.

Another new release from the ale side of the aisle is One Brew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in support of the University of Oregon’s Ken Kesey Collection. Kesey, of course, is the Oregon author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest who notoriously led the Merry Pranksters in the LSD-fueled Acid Tests of the 1960s—which prompted me to wonder what in the heck Rogue was putting in that beer. Turns out the brew is rich, frothy, toasty, and strong, but I’m pretty sure there is nothing illicit in the ingredients. It’s available online at $13 for a .75-liter bottle.

Other local partners who have had the courage to link arms with Rogue include the Oregon National Guard, the Oregon Zoo, Portland International Airport, and even Keiko, the orca of “Free Willy” fame.

So if you’re looking for refreshments for Portlandia’s fifth season, you might consider raising a glass of bacon maple vodka and offering a toast with the now infamous phrase, “Put a bird on it!”

Amateur But Heartfelt Reviews of Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka

“Smells sweet and burning. It might be better if it’s chilled. It’s got a creamy after-taste.”

“I have to go to a board meeting tonight. I really shouldn’t be smelling like bacon maple vodka.”

“It reminds me of a maple-rum hot toddy.”

“Hey, it tastes better than it smells!”

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

More from Travel + Leisure:

TIME College football

Let College Football Playoff Star Ezekiel Elliott Go Pro

College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day
Ronald Martinez—Getty Images Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks with media during Media Day for the College Football Playoff National Championship at Dallas Convention Center on January 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

He raised his stock to an all time high against Oregon. But the rules don't let him cash in on NFL riches

Odds are, the college career of star Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott will never get better. Elliott just turned in one of the all-time great performances in title game history, in any sport, college or pro: against Oregon in Monday night’s inaugural College Football Playoff national championship, a 42-20 Buckeyes victory, Elliott ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged an absurd 6.8 yards per carry, and ran for 14 first downs. Elliott’s stat line over his last three games reads like a video game tally: 696 yards, eight touchdowns. In the national semifinals, against Alabama, the 6’0″, 225-pound sophomore ran for 230 yards. He was the first 100-yard rusher Alabama had allowed all season.

College football, as an industry, has never had it better. The College Football Playoff is a windfall for the major conferences: ESPN is paying $7.3 billion over 12 years to broadcast the event. This season, each of the big-five conferences — the ACC, the Big 12, the Big 10, the Pac-12 and the SEC — will receive around $50 million each, almost double what they took home under the old BCS system. The Ohio State-Oregon national title game drew a 18.2 rating and averaged 33.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched event in cable television history. In fact, two semi-final games on New Years Day, plus the title game, account for the three most-watched cable programs ever. Thanks to the hype and momentum of the playoff, the national championship game’s ratings rose 26% compared to last year’s BCS title game between Florida State and Auburn. Total viewership spiked 31%.

Times are nice. But Elliott, the offensive MVP of the title game, gets hit with a double whammy. First, none of this money from the college football playoff flows into the pocket of the best player in the college football playoff. Second, if Elliott wanted to cash in while his stock is at that all-time high — by turning pro — he can’t.

MORE Watch College Football Personalities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

Since Elliott is a sophomore, he’s ineligible for the NFL draft; only players three years removed from high school can be drafted (Elliott’s teammate, former third-string quarterback turned Buckeye State idol Cardale Jones, is a redshirt sophomore, having sat out his first year on campus, so Jones could go pro if he wants to). Basketball players can leave after their freshman year, so if Elliott played hoops, he could start making plans. But since he plays football, he has no choice but to return to campus, and risk injury in a much more violent sport.

“He has to go through another year in a very tough conference, as the national champion, so teams will be even more hyped up to go against him,” says Alan Milstein, an attorney who represented former Ohio St. running back Maurice Clarett’s ultimately unsuccessful legal attempt to overturn the NFL rule. “Hopefully, he’ll suffer no serious injury. But the reality is, his career could be over at any moment. The NFL isn’t taking the risk. Ohio State isn’t taking the risk. He’s taking all the risk.”

The risk is real. For example, after a huge freshman season in 2010, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, a first-round NFL prospect, suffered season season-ending knee injuries in both his sophomore and junior years. He retired this past November, without having appeared in an NFL game. Elliott might sincerely want to return to school. He can take another year of classes, and chase a repeat championship in front of adoring crowds, on an adoring campus. A possible Heisman trophy win is tempting. But it’s blatantly unfair for Elliott, or any other player in his position, to have no option to go to the NFL. (A request to speak to Elliott, through an Ohio State spokesperson, was not returned).

MORE See the 10 Best Photos From the Ohio State vs. Oregon Championship Game

Back in 2004, Milstein argued that the three-year restriction was illegal. He still feels that way.

“The only reason a team wouldn’t draft Elliott is because they’ve all said we won’t draft him if you won’t draft him,” says Milstein. “That’s the essence of an anti-trust conspiracy.”

A federal district court agreed with him, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, overturned that judgment, ruling that since the draft rule is a product of collective bargaining, it’s shielded from anti-trust scrutiny under federal labor laws. “That’s what unions do every day — protect people in the union from those not in the union,” appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor said during the arguments. “Why is this case different?”

Sotomayor wrote the opinion. “She killed me, absolutely killed me,” Milstein remembers. So much so, Milstein says, that when Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2009, Republicans called him up to see if he would speak out against her. Milstein, a Barack Obama supporter, refused.

The Supreme Court declined to hear Milstein’s appeal in the Clarett case. Milstein, however, sees a legal opening in another appeals court jurisdiction, most notably the Sixth Circuit (which covers Ohio) or the Eighth Circuit, located in St. Louis. Both these jurisdictions have adopted the “Mackey test” — named after former Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey, who challenged the NFL in another case — which holds that labor restraints are only exempt from anti-trust scrutiny if they primarily affect the parties subject to collective bargaining, concern a mandatory subject of collective bargaining, i.e. (wages, hours, conditions of employment), and are subject to “bona fide arm’s-length bargaining.”

Since the draft rule is part of the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011, it meets this third prong of Mackey. But Milstein argues (and the federal district court agreed) that since college players are prospective employees, and thus not “parties subject to collective bargaining,” — and that the three-year rule doesn’t concern wages, hours, or conditions of employment — it fails the first two prongs. It thus isn’t subject to anti-trust exemption.

Minus a legal challenge, Elliott has another option: sit out next year to limit injury risk, but stay in shape and apply for the 2016 draft. Neither of those choices, really, are all that attractive. So Elliott will almost surely return to Ohio State for another season. Fingers crossed for the MVP.

Read next: Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota Will Enter NFL Draft

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME College football

Ohio Furniture Chain Loses $1.5 Million in Ohio State Game-Related Promotion

Kevin C. Cox—Getty Images Quarterback Cardale Jones #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Ashley Furniture promised to write off expensive purchases if the Buckeyes beat the Ducks

Did you bet on the Ohio State-Oregon game? Did you lose? Cheer up: We wager your loss wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Ashley Furniture’s.

The Ohio chain made a perhaps-ill-advised promise to write off purchases of $1,999 or more from Dec. 17-30 if the Buckeyes beat Alabama and then went on to win the national championship by at least seven points.

Admittedly, it was a long shot: Alabama was the No. 1 seed, and even fewer people predicted the Buckeyes overrunning Oregon 42-20 on Monday.

The promotion was in place at stores in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Florence, Kentucky. Over 500 people made purchases that totaled $1.5 million, according to parent company Morris Home Furnishings’ vice president of marketing, Rob Klaben.

“We did work with a third-party company that underwrote the promotion. So we’re excited to see a win,” Klaben told ABC News.

But he added – in the first great understatement of 2015 – “It’s not inexpensive to have this kind of promotion.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Football

See the 10 Best Photos From the Ohio State vs. Oregon Championship Game

The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks 42-20 in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game in Arlington, Texas

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