MONDAY, JANUARY 5 This week of ricin threats, Chuck E. Cheese's brawls, and horrible developments for Seattle and the world at large kicks off today with a pair of noteworthy arrests, the first of which comes from Port St. Lucie, Florida, where a man stands accused of allowing his elderly invalid mother to descend into a hell of neglect. As southeast Florida's WPBF-TV reports, the saga commenced last Saturday, when paramedics found a severely malnourished 90-year-old woman lying in the hallway of her home, covered in feces. After being stabilized at the hospital, the woman told police that she lived with her son, 68-year-old Robert Rozenti, whom she said often yelled at her and "used the 'F' word." But perhaps the most damning evidence was found at the end of the woman's legs, where her son's alleged two years of neglect had reportedly allowed her swollen feet to fuse with her never-removed shoes. Today brought news of the arrest of Rozenti, who told police he hadn't taken his mother to the hospital for two years, and who stands charged with neglect of an elderly person.
••Meanwhile in South Dakota: Today, police were called to Sioux Falls' Empire Mall, where a 35-year-old Lincoln, Nebraska, woman was allegedly caught shoplifting a key chain. When police searched the woman's purse, they found prescription drugs without a prescription. While the woman was being arrested, she told police she was going into labor. But, as the Associated Press reports, after she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, doctors determined that the woman was not only not in labor, but not pregnant. Props to the world's most ambitious allegedly pill-popping shoplifting liar, who in addition to any and all criminal charges will be required to pay for her ambulance ride and hospital visit.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 6 The week continues with high drama at the U.S. Senate, where today Roland Burris—the would-be replacement for Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat—was denied entry, after the secretary of the Senate declared his credentials invalid. The problem: The lack of Illinois secretary of state Jesse White's signature on Burris's nomination certificate. As CBS reports, White refused to certify Burris because his appointment came from Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is mired in criminal charges related to his office and who on Friday will be officially impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives. Impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich will begin in the state senate on January 26. The saga of Roland Burris is ongoing.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 7 Today brings some good progress in the righting of a stupid Seattle tragedy, as 18-year-old Carlos Bernardez was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of local hiphop artist Joseph Ryan/29-E on January 4 at Chop Suey. Bernardez also faces charges of first-degree assault for his alleged wounding of promoter Avery Turner/1st Black Prez. If convicted, Bernardez could face 32 to 40 years in prison.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 8 The week continues with the social plague that's threatening to devour the nation, as an ever-increasing number of citizens are finding themselves powerless against the urge to engage in Chuck E. Cheese's–based mayhem. Details on the "disturbing and bizarre crime trend [of] escalating violence among adults at a place designed for children's birthday parties" come from the epicenter of the epidemic: southeastern Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Township, where the Patriot-News reports that police have been called to the local Chuck E. Cheese's 12 times in the past year. These calls resulted in the arrest of 13 people (six of them women), with charges ranging from theft to disorderly conduct to domestic assault. "It's madness, absolute madness," said Police Chief Robert Martin, adding that he believes much of the violence stems from ongoing disputes among people who bump into each other in the restaurant, as well as separated or divorced parents reencountering each other at a child's birthday party. As the Patriot-News reports, the Chuck E. Cheese's violence trend is not new (in 2007, cops were called to the Susquehanna Township Chuck E. Cheese's 18 times for similar offenses) nor is it restricted to southeastern Pennsylvania—the Wall Street Journal recently reported on the growing number of Chuck E. Cheese's melees in Wisconsin, Kansas, Ohio, and Michigan. Nevertheless, Pennsylvania remains the Chuck E. Cheese's–based violence capital of the world, where the true visionaries of the form—such as the Lancaster County man arrested after racing around his local Chuck E. Cheese's yelling that he had hepatitis C and spitting on things—create their masterworks. Meanwhile, CEC Entertainment, Inc., the corporation that runs Chuck E. Cheese's, has assured the Patriot-News that "all the restaurants have security cameras to help ensure peace of mind for customers and the restaurants' workers who dress as the Chuck E. Cheese's mouse mascot."
FRIDAY, JANUARY 9 Today brings some tremendously sad news to Seattle in general and many longtime Seattleites in particular, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer confirmed that it's been put up for sale. If no buyer is found, the 146-year-old paper will either attempt to carry on as a greatly downsized web publication or shut down entirely. Having typed the phrase "details come from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer" into this column more times than we are physically able to count, Last Days is deeply saddened by today's news and will attempt to ameliorate this sadness by spending the next six weeks exploiting the fuck out of the output of the imperiled P-I staff, including longtime Last Days' faves Hector Castro, Scott Gutierrez, Vanessa Ho, Tracy Johnson, Casey McNerthney, Moises Mendoza, Levi Pulkkinen, Claudia Rowe, and Brad Wong.
••In much better Seattle news: This evening brought the Great Ricin Threat Pub Crawl of 2009, wherein a whole bunch of gays and those who love them patronized the 11 gay bars—the Elite, the Eagle, the Cuff, the Wildrose, Purr, Neighbours, R Place, Re-bar, C.C. Attle's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent—that were earlier this week sent letters warning of deadly ricin attacks. Best of all, no one was murdered by ricin or anything else. For death-defying full coverage by Bethany Jean Clement, Kelly O, and Dan Savage, see pages 29, 53, and 57. Thanks to all who participated, except for the shitbag letter-writer.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 10 The week continues in downtown Seattle, where today a bunch of people marched against DOMA, a bunch of other people marched against Israel's actions against Palestine, and Hot Tipper Karen overheard a man on the bus boasting about his intoxicated culinary skills. "I have been a chef for six years," said the man, according to Karen. "I come in to work on cocaine, meth, plus drinking on top of that. I have never had a plate sent back."
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11 The week ends with some good news for a handful of actors (including the late Heath Ledger, the great Tina Fey, and the battered primate Mickey Rourke, all of whom won Golden Globes this evening) and some bad news for a family in Washington's Clallam County, where today a husband and wife were arrested on a variety of charges related to the alleged abuse and exploitation of their 9-year-old daughter, including incest, molestation, and sending child pornography over the internet.
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