• WNBA star Brittney Griner is on a plane headed back to the US, as a prisoner swap is complete with Russia. Griner was released in exchange for jailed arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death," who has served 12 of a 25-year sentence; but Russia refused to release another American prisoner, Paul Whelan, a former Marine who was jailed in 2018 in Moscow and accused of being a spy. [New York Times]
  • The Bold Italic, the thirteen-year-old SF blog that at one time had a huge staff and funding from USA Today publisher Gannett, has been handed over to moderate political group GrowSF. Medium, which bought the Bold Italic three years ago, says they don't want to be in the business of being publishers themselves, but they "want to be in the business of helping other people be publishers," so they've given GrowSF the blog for free. We'll see how this goes. [Chronicle]
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff-elect Bob Jonsen is starting the job one month early, after a unanimous vote by the county board of supervisors, and after Sheriff Laurie Smith was convicted of corruption charges and resigned just prior to her conviction. [KTVU]
  • Not all local infectious disease specialists are forgoing indoor dining this holiday season, despite heightened risks and surging COVID and flu, because they say they're willing to take the risk to see family and friends. [Chronicle]
  • Three former Twitter employees go before a judge today in the first stage of a federal class-action suit for wrongful termination. [NBC Bay Area]
  • California's commercial Dungeness crab fishing season has been delayed again until at least December 30, because the whale migration apparently hasn't ended. [NBC Bay Area]
  • The grand opening of yet another Chik-Fil-A, this one in Livermore, is expected to draw a bunch of traffic today. [KRON4]
  • The House has passed the same-sex and interracial marriage protection bill, and it's now headed to President Biden's desk. [New York Times]
  • Some prominent gay Republicans, including Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, helped smooth the way for passage of the bill by leaning on a coalition of Republican senators. [New York Times]

Top image: Cherelle Griner (L), wife of Olympian and WNBA player Brittney Griner, speaks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced her release from Russian custody, at the White House on December 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)