Worldwide emergency designation for COVID is over: The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) announced Friday that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency. The W.H.O will still classify the disease as a pandemic, it's just not too big of a deal. This move doesn't come as a surprise, since many countries have already ended their COVID emergency footings. The U.S. will end its state of emergency on May 11. During the course of the state of emergency, there were over 752.2 million confirmed cases of the disease and over 6.9 million confirmed deaths worldwide. However, researchers say the true numbers are likely significantly higher. 

A win for science, says the W.H.O. High levels of global immunity have reduced COVID's virulence, according to Dr. K. Srinath Reddy from India’s Public Health Foundation. "What made the virus change its character is not only evolutionary biology," Reddy said, "...We have induced it to actually become less virulent, by vaccination, by masks, by a number of public health measures.”

And yet: In April, the world saw 2.8 million confirmed COVID cases and over 17,000 deaths. Those numbers are likely way bigger because testing has fallen to the wayside in many countries. 

Your days of turning right on red are numbered: The Seattle Department of Transportation is gradually stopping right turns on red lights in downtown intersections in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths. So far, SDOT has put up "No Turn on Red" signs at 28 intersections downtown. They're working on installing 41 more signs at downtown intersections before MLB All-Star Week comes here in July. Fine with me. Red light right turns always feel like a dance with the devil, a gamble with the gods. Reducing them could significantly reduce how many cars are killing people, too. 

The Kraken lost: The Dallas Stars trounced our sad little sea monsters 4-2. The playoff series is now tied 1-1. 

Real hockey is too painful: Spare yourself the drama. Love a different kind of hockey. Might I recommend the underwater variety

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A life jacket for the silver tsunami: As the need for elderly care in Washington grows, the number of caregivers across the state is either staying the same or decreasing. That number spells trouble for the "silver tsunami" of oldies needing assistance as the Baby Boomers wilt and age. One issue is that new caregivers must jump through a lot of hoops to get certified, and right now there are only 15 testing sites for caregiver certification in the state, all of which are located in the Puget Sound area. A new Washington state bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee will survey the issue and recommend ways to reduce these barriers. There's nothing a robust report can't fix.

Who's going to give Memorial Stadium a facelift? The dilapidated Seattle Public Schools-owned stadium is in dire need of refreshing. The deadline to submit proposals for a complete demolition and rebuild of the stadium was yesterday. One of the two proposals submitted comes from the team behind the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena. They see Memorial Stadium as a potential state-of-the art venue to really round out Seattle Center. Seattle school kids, of course, will still get first priority to whatever becomes of the stadium during the school year. 

The monarchy still exists: And King Charles III's big coronation day is tomorrow! I don't care. He seems like a weasel. 

A cock for Charles: Some vandals mowed a giant penis into the lawn outside the Royal Crescent in Bath, the venue of a Georgian-themed "Grand Coronation Party" on Saturday. 

The job market keeps chugging along: The U.S. added 253,000 jobs in April. Politico said these numbers show "surprising strength despite rising interest rates, chronically high inflation and a banking crisis." 

Six-year-old shot while playing outside: One or more shooters shot at a six-year-old boy playing in his front yard in Kansas City, Kansas. He died. Police do not think this was a "random act of violence" but have not released more information. 

Whoop, hold on a sec. The Stranger's Ashley Nerbovig's here with a CHOP update:

Man pleads guilty in CHOP killing: Marcel L. Long, 21, pled guilty Thursday to shooting and killing 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson in June of 2020 inside the six-block Capitol Hill Organized Protest area. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a judge sentence Long to about 14 years in prison, with credit for time served, and three years community supervision after release. Long’s sentencing is scheduled for June 1. 

Long shot Anderson after Seattle police abandoned the East Precinct on Capitol Hill during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The city later paid $500,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Anderson’s father, who claimed his son might have lived had police and medics responded faster to the shooting.

Thanks, Ashley! 

It'll be moist out there: I am all for a touch of rain to keep us humble. Too much sun gives us Northerners too much confidence. For example, my cat woke me up this morning at 5:15 by stepping on my face with wet paws. He put me in my place and now I feel more grounded. 

Pour one out for the fallen: Two Kentucky Derby horses owned by the same trainer died at the race track this week. Churchill Downs suspended trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. indefinitely and banned his still-alive horse, Lord Miles, from joining the big race after two of Joseph's horses (Parents Pride and Chasing Artie) keeled over and mysteriously kicked the can earlier this week. Rule number one of horse racing is that your horse should not mysteriously die. Ask anyone. 

Pornhub pulls out of Utah: Thanks to a new law passed by the prudes at the Utah Legislature, Utahns trying to get their rocks off with some help from their good pal, pornography, will need to verify their age likely by showing their ID. Porn sites fear this will infringe on the privacy of those brave Utah residents who aren't sexually repressed want to do the five finger shuffle every now and then. Pornhub washed its hands of the whole situation and barred access to its site in Utah. 

Who ditched their pasta in these New Jersey woods? Someone dumped 300 to 500 pounds of various types of pasta along a creek in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Who's the culprit? One city official has it on good authority that the pasta dumper was not a business but an individual. She would not say more about their identity, or why they were cooking so much pasta, or why they would leave mounds and mounds of the stuff along a public creek.

More shady shit from the Thomases: According to the Washington Post, over a decade ago "conservative judicial activist" Leonard Leo paid Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife, Ginni Thomas, "tens of thousands of dollars for consulting work." However, he specifically requested for Ginni's name not to be mentioned in any paperwork. In 2012, Leo went so far as to telling Kellyanne Conway "to bill a nonprofit group he advises and use that money to pay Virginia 'Ginni' Thomas." That nonprofit, the Judicial Education Project, filed a brief to the Supreme Court in a voting rights case that same year.