RIP Amiri Baraka: Radical playwright, poet, and leader of the 1960s Black Arts movement dies at 79.
Bad News on U.S. Jobs: "Hiring slumped sharply in December, as the economy added only 74,000 jobs," reports CNN. "This was the weakest month for job growth since January 2011 and came as a huge surprise to economists, who were expecting an addition of 193,000 jobs."
Slain Kirkland Mother Had Warned Authorities Her Ex-Boyfriend Would Kill Her: As victim Amy Gang wrote in her 2012 restraining order application, "A piece of paper isn't going to save my life when he finally gets me, but at least you will know who killed me."
In Russia: "[A]uthorities are investigating six suspicious deaths and at least one car explosion this week about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the site of next month's Winter Olympics," reports CNN.
In West Virginia: Chemical spill in Charleston's Elk River leaves 300,000 waterless. "Shortly after the Thursday spill from Freedom Industries hit the river and a nearby treatment plant, a licorice-like smell enveloped parts of the city," reports the Associated Press. "Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an order to customer of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water."
In Okalahoma: Ex-doctor charged with nine counts of murder after allegedly overprescribing pain medication. "[One patient] died in September 2012 at the age of 33 from drug toxicity, and now the doctor who prescribed her hundreds of pain pills, William Martin Valuck, 71, is facing a murder charge for her death and the deaths of seven other patients who died from drug overdoses," reports the AP. "Valuck also faces a murder charge in the death of a man killed by a patient who reportedly caused a fatal wreck while under the influence of pain medication."
"I Call Bullshit on Facebook": Marilyn McKenna, wife of former AG Rob McKenna, isn't happy about being forced to remove weight-loss photo from her FB page.
In Lighter News: Here's a roundup of last night's jokes about Chris Christie. (Colbert and Stewart mock the scandal, while Fallon, Letterman, and Leno mock fatty.)
Finally, happy 66th birthday to Donald Fagen, whose twisted Muzac has delighted and weirded me out for decades.