Chinook salmon returns way down this year: So far returns on the Columbia River are at only about 50% of the 10-year average for this time of year, according to the Seattle Times. Salmon are making their way up the Columbia to spawning grounds across the state, but scientists aren’t sure why their numbers are so low this year, especially after much higher returns last year. One explanation might be this is the salmon generation most affected by “the blob,” an ever so scientific name for a mass of hot water that formed off the West Coast in 2013 that could have killed off a bunch of young salmon. Either way, a drop in Chinook is bad news for orcas.
Not all declines are bad: Like when the decline is in youth homelessness, it’s something to celebrate! The latest homelessness count by King County shows a steep drop in homelessness among people 24-years-old and younger, with rates among 12-to-24-year-olds dropping 27% since 2017. One reason for this decline could be public investment in services for the homeless. But not everyone trusts these numbers because counting the number of homeless people is no easy task. Some homeless advocates believe even these relatively high numbers are still a severe undercount.
Mt. Rainier rockfall kills one, injures five: Along one of the mountain’s most technical and dangerous routes, the Liberty Ridge, a team of climbers was hit by a rockfall late Wednesday night that killed one person and sent five others to the hospital. A spokesman for the park said that rockfalls like this one are just an inherent risk of climbing a mountain as unstable as Rainier. I mean, it is a volcano after all. Only 1% of climbers who summit Mt. Rainier every year do so from the Liberty Ridge route.
Eight kids win the Scripps National Spelling Bee: Okay, well can they spell necessary? Because I’ve been fucking that one up my entire life and could use some help. Also restaurant; that word is dumb and should be spelled differently. Anyway, this year's spelling bee made history with an eight-way tie. All eight of the finalists spelled every word correctly in 20 rounds. It was unprecedented.
Your first official look at our 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Co-Champions. Each speller will receive a Scripps Cup and $50,000 cash prize from Scripps. After 20 rounds of intensive, record-breaking competition, they're all going home as winners. #spellingbee pic.twitter.com/8nRzDAk5dc
— Scripps National Spelling Bee (@ScrippsBee) May 31, 2019
R Kelly charged with 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse: That brings the grand total of charges against him to 21 in the alleged abuse of five women, four of whom were underage at the time. Some of these new charges carry a maximum 30-year jail sentence and could theoretically put Kelly away for the rest of his life.
A levee in Arkansas has breached, flooding miles of land: A levee that banked the Arkansas River has been swept away by flood waters that have now poured into nearby farmland. Authorities are urging people to evacuate until the levee can be repaired and the flood waters dissipate.
But who is going to evacuate these deer?!
Trump is levying tariffs on Mexican goods: See what I did there? Apparently, he thinks that it will be a good way to slow down the number of migrants coming to America. The 5% tariff would affect every Mexican import and could hurt a lot of American businesses if Mexico retaliates with their own tariffs. If you’re trying to curb migration, how does slowing Mexico’s economy help do that? It could only impoverish more Mexican citizens who then have even more reason to migrate to the US. It will also encourage migrants from Central America not to settle in Mexico because of slowing economic conditions. This is straight dumb.
A fighter pilot drew another dick in the air: Air Force officials are saying it was an accident, but it looks pretty phallic to me. Dicks may be easy to draw, but not when your pen is an F-35 and your paper is the airspace over Arizona.
Ben & Jerry's is about to unveil a CBD-infused ice cream: Talk about a sugar high! God that was terrible. Yes, I know CBD doesn't actually get you high, but the jokes take precedence here on Slog AM. CBD-infused products are the hottest new trend in unproven food additives and if Ben & Jerry's wants to cash in on that, I say go for it. Get that money Ben. Get paid Jerry. Just be sure to send The Stranger some samples so we can write a full review.
Now listen here you $#!%: In honor of the new remake of Aladdin and its blue-painted Will Smith, let's pay homage to the late-great Robin Williams who pioneered the role.