At least 306 people in the Northwest died while in county jail custody: Since 2008, according to a new report by KUOW, OPB, and Northwest News Network. This data isn’t tracked by county agencies, so these news organizations made their own database to understand how pervasive this problem is and where deaths occurred most often. They found that about 70% of inmates who died while in custody were still awaiting trial and therefore were still considered innocent under the law. Half of the deaths they found were from suicide. Overall, deaths in county jail are increasing, with a mortality rate of 123 deaths for every 100,000 inmates in 2008 rising to 162 in 2017. Preliminary estimates for last year’s mortality rate are closer to 200 after an apparent spike in deaths.
New fund to ensure census actually counts every Washingtonian: It’s almost census season again and our notoriously anti-immigrant president is again up to no good. He wants to include a question about a person’s citizenship in the census, which many believe will keep undocumented people from participating for fear of immigration officers using that information to deport them. The last census under Obama was carried out by former Washington Governor Gary Locke, but he has serious worries about this one, so he’s partnered with King County to throw some money at the problem. They pledged $1 million to perform outreach to undocumented communities and traditionally overlooked, undercounted populations (trans people, the homeless, etc.).
You thought we were done talking about the dump? Not even close. Like I said last week, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is one of the best places to find bald eagles in King County. There are about 200 eagles who frequent the dump at any one time because they don’t have to work very hard for a free lunch. While not as majestic as dive bombing into the ocean for fish, the eagles, especially juveniles and subadults, can simply hop around the dump looking for our leftovers. The problem is these larger birds carry pieces of trash out of the dump, up into the air, and drop items all over the surrounding area, pissing off the local community who is already vehemently opposed to expanding the dump. For now, officials at the dump are trying a bird deterrent as old as time: scarecrows.
Light rail to Bellevue is officially 50% done: It’s a huge accomplishment and keeps the project on track to open by 2023 as promised. Depending upon how 2020 goes, that’ll be right around when Trump finishes up his second term so there’s some context for you. The new lanes along the I-90 bridge have reached the halfway point, with a special piece of machinery which builds the structure as it moves called a “form traveler” finishing the western half of the bridge last night. It will now move over to the Eastside and slowly build the eastern side until they meet in the middle sometime around November.
Chicago to elect their first ever African-American female mayor: No matter if Chicago voters choose Lori Lightfoot or Toni Preckwinkle, they're mayor’s office will be run by an African-American for the first time since 1987 and the first time ever by an African-American woman. There has been one female mayor before, Jane Byrne in 1979, but she was white. Rahm Emanuel will step down after two terms as Chicago mayor, with a string of high profile controversies around his neck. It wouldn’t be Chicago politics without a few major controversies. I have a confession. I don’t actually get to vote in this election because I’m not actually a Chicago resident; I’m from Evanston, the first town north of the city limits. But tune in tomorrow morning to see who wins!
Chicago will make a historic decision today. Voters will choose between Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle to become the city's first African-American female mayor: https://t.co/Lwgxmbfg5k #ChiMayor19 pic.twitter.com/kWK8SdJBOY
— Bill Ruthhart (@BillRuthhart) April 2, 2019
Courts block two of Trump’s terrible environmental policies in Alaska: Offshore drilling has absolutely devastated the Gulf of Mexico, so Trump thinks it would be a good idea to bring that same approach to the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska's north coast. Obama banned offshore oil drilling in these areas to protect native tribes and wildlife from the almost-inevitable oil spills that would result from increased drilling in the Arctic. Trump tried to overturn the Obama era rule and drill anyway, but a judge recently ruled that he doesn’t have the power. It will no doubt get appealed, but hey, it’s a win for now.
Trump is yelling at Puerto Rico for being devastated by a hurricane: Trump went on a Twitter tirade against the territory for not immediately rebounding after one of the most destructive hurricanes on record. Puerto Rico was deep in debt before the storm and, after, they didn’t receive anywhere near enough support to properly rebuild their infrastructure. The Trump administration fumbled the response to Hurricane Maria, leading to hundreds of deaths across the island. Sadly, Puerto Ricans don’t vote in U.S. elections, so politicians don’t really give a shit about keeping them happy.
No one is sure why Trump keeps saying PR got $91 billion. It didn't.
$91 billion was the estimated cost of damages to the island following Hurricane Maria.
PR has been granted around just $1.5b of a larger pot of aid funding previously approved by Congress so far. https://t.co/yv1bYWHWlL
— Melanie Schmitz (@MelsLien) April 2, 2019
I hope you’re happy: These are the sunrises I miss because I’m writing Slog for you all. Anyone have a rooftop with wifi I can post up on every morning?
Enjoy your last day of sunshine: Because we’ll thankfully be getting rain tonight.
[630AM Radar Simulation]: Showers are increasing around Grays Harbor County this morning. They will be slow to move north but will eventually spread across much of the area late tonight. Enjoy one more dry morning! #wawx pic.twitter.com/L4XrRdv7aA
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) April 2, 2019
Colorado passes “Red Flag” bill that would seize guns from unstable owners: If a gun owner is found to be a danger to themselves or others, this new law would give police the ability to seize the gun. It could cut down the number of shootings in the state, but it would more likely bolster efforts to prevent an increasingly high rate of suicide. The problem is Colorado cops hate it. The bill has passed both chambers of the state legislature and is almost certain to be signed by the governor, but 50 of the 62 elected sheriffs said they won’t enforce it because raids to seize guns would put their officers at risk. Fifteen other states already have laws similar to this one on the books.
LAPD asks for help finding suspect in rapper Nipsey Hussle’s murder: The rapper was killed Sunday afternoon and now local police are crowdsourcing information to find their main suspect.
Eric Holder is wanted for Homicide in the shooting of Nipsey Hussle. He was last seen in a 2016 white 4 door Chevy Cruze CA license plate 7RJD742. Anyone with information related to his whereabouts or this deadly shooting is urged to contact South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5100 pic.twitter.com/3pX4fbezDs
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) April 2, 2019
Tonight's best Seattle entertainment options include: José González & the String Theory, a reading with King of Joy author Richard Chiem, and a chance to see some archives from the Zine Archive & Publishing Project.