Hurricane Idalia hits Florida and Georgia as “catastrophic” storm: The storm slammed into Florida’s west coast as a Category 3 hurricane early this morning, unleashing life-threatening rainfall and storm surges unusual for the state’s Big Bend region. Streets are flooded. Sustained winds of 105 miles per hour downed trees, taking out the power for 242,000 people. The storm weakened after making landfall, but it remains a still-dangerous Category 2.
9:45am EDT - #Idalia continues to move inland. Hurricane force wind gusts continue on the western edge of the eye wall. Additionally, very heavy rain will likely cause flash flooding as it moves into south-central Georgia over the next few hours. #FLwx pic.twitter.com/glb5fvzqM8— NWS Tallahassee (@NWSTallahassee) August 30, 2023
Master of disguise (not): Authorities caught an Oregon man wearing a stolen US Customs and Border Patrol vest and stealing equipment from a secure building on the US-Canadian border in Lynden, Washington. The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department said Austin Michael Giger waltzed right in and started rifling through Border Patrol’s shit–stealing two ballistic vests, a $5,000 radio, a Border Patrol jacket, ammo,and pepper spray. Deputies arrested Giger and charged him with second-degree burglary, first-degree theft, theft of a firearm and first-degree criminal impersonation. When discovered, Giger committed to the bit, pointing to the vest and claiming he just got off work.
Men killed in Eastern Washington wildfires identified: Carl Grub, 86, died in the Gray fire that started on August 18 near Medical Lake, according to ABC. Grub taught children how to raise livestock at the Jensen Memorial Youth Ranch he founded with his brother. Two days later, the Oregon fire killed 49-year-old Alex Brown in Elk, Washington. The fires that killed Grub and Brown destroyed more than 350 homes.
Canada warned its LGBTQ citizens about traveling in the US: The warning from Global Affairs Canada said anti-LGBTQ—and specifically anti-trans—state laws could affect queer Canadians during their travels here and advised people to take normal security precautions. Any warning at all is usually reserved for countries like Russia, Egypt, or Uganda, which have strong, national anti-gay laws. We have more of a confusing patchwork.
✈️ Canada has issued a new travel warning to its LGBTQ+ citizens who are planning to visit the United States.— Openly 🏳️🌈 (@Openly) August 30, 2023
🏳️🌈 Anti-LGBTQ+ protests in the US rose 30-fold last year compared with 2017, while legal moves to restrict LGBTQ+ rights are on the rise. pic.twitter.com/5qLTk2jI6a
First Ugandan charged with “aggravated homosexuality”: Even though there’s no such thing, the charged 20-year-old could face death. The country’s new anti-LGBTQ law is inspired by the same right-wing American groups that are trying to legislate trans people out of existence here, such as the Heritage Foundation. Under the law, gay sex is punishable by life in prison. It's punishable by death if the sex is “aggravated,” a definition that includes repeat “offenses” and HIV transmission. The charging document doesn’t specify why authorities considered the sex aggravated, reports Reuters. The law has been challenged in court, but no judge has taken the case yet.
Speaking of the Heritage Foundation: The conservative think tank and other right-wing organizations want a Donald Trump victory in 2024, and they are recruiting thousands of Americans to help them dismantle the federal government if he wins. Here’s the pamphlet for Project 2025, a project that plans to develop a new civic infrastructure for Day One of Trump’s hypothetical second presidency and reshape “deep state” bureaucracy by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers. Idk, sounds like a dictatorship?
Burgled in Seattle: Seattle police said groups of three to seven armed robbers in ski masks have broken into more than a dozen residences in South Seattle since June. In one instance, the robbers held a gun to a 10-year-old boy’s head and made him point out hidden valuables in the home. Police said all victims have been Asian and claim a language barrier delayed their response times by 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the suspects time to flee.
Totem pole to return to Nisga’a Nation in BC: 93 years ago, a Canadian anthropologist cut down the 36-foot totem, carved to honor a fallen warrior and chief-to-be, while the Nisga’a were away from their villages on an annual hunting, harvesting, and fishing trip, and then he sent it away to Scotland. After decades of campaigning, the National Museum of Scotland is finally sending it back. The tribe believes the totem is not an object, but a living being with a spirit.
Gotta win em’ all: University of Washington engineering sophomore Thomas Welch (aka xXRubixMasterXx) finished second at the Pokémon Go World Championship in Yokohama, Japan earlier this month. If you haven’t played that game since 2016, the developer added one-on-one battles in real-time, which Welch is super good at. Welch lost to his rival, ItsAXN, in a battle streamed live and watched by thousands worldwide.
Out of the pool: Birch Bay Waterslides near Blaine, Washington is closed for the summer after a man was injured on one of the main slides Friday. Neither the park nor authorities said exactly what happened, but witnesses wrote on social media that they saw a lot of blood. After EMS crews transported the man to PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Hospital North, the park issued refunds to all in attendance.
Let it burn! A group of 30 mostly queer, “gutter-pagan punk dirtbags” in Philadelphia did a pretty angelic thing, raising $17,000 to buy and erase $1.6 million in medical debt. How can you buy medical debt for less than its worth, you ask? Doctors and hospitals frequently sell delinquent debts in bulk to collectors that harass people who did not, or could not, pay in the first place. Gee, another lovely feature of our for-profit health care system.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise shares diagnosis of “treatable” blood cancer: The Louisiana Republican said he’s already begun treatment, after blood work and testing led to a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. Scalise, the House’s second-highest ranking Republican, said he expects to return to Washington during treatment and to continue working as Majority Leader.
Weather: Looks chillll. Is summer over?
Tuesday high of 62° is the normal high for October 11th and 12th in Seattle. Warmer today but still below normal. Another system arriving Thursday. A little warm up to start Labor day weekend Saturday then temperatures cool back below normal into the 1st part of next week.#wawx pic.twitter.com/h3OZ0EoCzu— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) August 30, 2023