National hero.
National hero. Photo by Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images

A 15-year-old student shot and killed three students at a Michigan high school north of Detroit: He wounded at least eight other people. Details are still developing—authorities arrested the shooter but haven't released his name. Education Week estimates there have been 28 school shootings just this year.

THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP – A Penny Dreadful, playing Feb. 8-26 at Intiman Theatre
Laugh till it hurts at this outrageous camp comedy the NYTimes calls “Wickedly funny!”

The family of Charleena Lyles settles with the City of Seattle, reports Andrew Engelson:

Attorneys representing the family of Charleena Lyles announced today that the City of Seattle agreed to a $3.5 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Seattle Police Department and two white officers who shot and killed Lyles in her north Seattle home on June 18, 2017. She had called the cops to report a burglary.

The police shooting of Lyles, a 30-year-old Black mother of four who was pregnant at the time, inspired widespread outrage and sparked protests against excessive use of force by SPD, including calls for reforming and defunding the police during the city’s Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.

“I appreciate each and every person that was out there willing to put their bodies out there, to be pepper sprayed, to fight for something bigger than themselves,” said Lyles’s cousin, Katrina Johnson, one of several members of Lyle’s family present via Zoom during the press conference. “And being willing to say my cousin’s name. . . . We’re not done until the two officers who murdered my cousin are held criminally liable.”

Andrew has the news on Slog.

The Republic of Barbados says Bad Gal RiRi is a national hero: The news comes as the island nation announces its independence from Britain. The Republic has removed the Queen of England as its head of state, elected Dame Sandra Mason as its first president, and now officially hails the Barbadian-born Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty as a hero.

“We the people must give Republic Barbados its spirit and its substance,” Mason said in her address today. “We must shape its future. We are each other’s and our nation’s keepers. We the people are Barbados.”

Here's how I voted in a new Sinclair Broadcast Group poll:

Looks like people agree!
Looks like readers agree!

CNN suspends its most-watched anchor: Chris Cuomo is suspended "indefinitely, pending further evaluation," reports Variety. The move comes a day after the New York attorney general's office dropped thousands of pages of additional documents, further proving Chris played a key role in helping his brother Andrew Cuomo, the disgraced former New York Governor, fight sexual harassment allegations. The anchor helped the governor by advising and writing statements for him and using his media contacts to find information about the women making accusations, among other fireable offenses.

Friendly reminder that, finally, the internet ends* on Thursday.

*Fingers crossed.

Here come the COVID pills: An FDA panel of experts have backed the oral COVID-fighting pill molnupiravir from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in a mixed vote, 13 for and 10 against, reports NPR. Here's the early analysis:

An interim analysis of a clinical study of the drug found that molnupiravir cut the risk of hospitalization or death in half. Among people who got the drug, 7.1% ended up in the hospital or died, compared with 14.1% who got the placebo. However, the final study analysis released Friday showed only a 30% reduction in the risk of hospitalization or death.

Pfizer has a pill working through the approval pipeline, too: It expects to manufacture 80 million treatment courses of the pill, reports Reuters. The Atlantic says the pills are a big deal.

More counterfeit pills, more deaths: The leader of "one of [Washington] state's most significant illegal drug operations" has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, reports AP. Bradley Woolard, 42, and his "right-hand man" Anthony Pelayo "ordered enough supplies to make around 2.5 million fentanyl-laced pills before they got caught." Feds say the team had stamps to mark their pills with "M30," helping to make them look like pharmacy-grade oxycodone instead of fentanyl. Prosecutors wrote in the duo's sentencing memo that their pill-presses "were capable of pressing thousands of pills an hour, and Mr. Woolard and Mr. Pelayo pressed so many pills over the course of the conspiracy that they wore out multiple presses." More from AP:

Deaths from synthetic opioid overdoses soared in Snohomish County while the conspiracy was active — from eight in 2015, to 13 in 2016, to 26 in 2017 and 58 in 2018, according to data from the Addictions, Drug and Alcohol Institute at the University of Washington.

The number of people overdosing on fentanyl has only skyrocketed since then, in Snohomish County, Washington state and across the country, with massive amounts of the drug being smuggled in from Mexico in recent years, federal authorities say. Overdose deaths have soared to about 100,000 per year nationally.

A lil drug PSA: Fentanyl is commonly found in heroin, but it's also in cocaine, crack, meth, ketamine, and other illegal pills, say health officials. Here's a pamphlet on how to test drugs for fentanyl. And if you're in Washington state, you can use this statewide standing order as a prescription for the nasal spray Narcan, as well as three other naloxone-administering drugs. Naloxone can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The state department of health recommends that anyone who uses drugs that they don't purchase at a pharmacy or cannabis dispensary—or anyone who interacts with people who do, like friends or family—carry naloxone, since the drugs they're using could contain fentanyl. Apple Health clients should be able to get naloxone at no cost, and here's how to use it. Finally, here's a vid Public Health – Seattle & King County made in 2019:

In other, less-harmful drug news: "Top Federal Drug Official Says There’s ‘No Evidence’ That Occasional Marijuana Use Is Harmful For Adults"****

****The caveat-quote: "I don’t think it has been evaluated. We need to test it." The Stranger staff has been testing marijuana nightly and will happily put our bodies on the line for science.

Still thinking about her and this.

Yes, it's "warm," but don't worry. It will get colder.

How much will a Kraken game cost you? Over $100, writes Samantha Allen for Crosscut—and that's not even bringing up the $9 water bottles, the $14 cheeseburgers, the $12 Seattle "Kraken" dogs, etc, etc. This isn't a problem for me because I don't watch sports—although an anonymous person who knows my address did sign me up for a Sports Illustrated subscription this month, which feels like a threat?????? That said, I'll re-up this suggestion: "Reduce the barrier for entry by allotting specially priced tickets for families and lower-income fans," writes Allen in her new piece "Ticket prices at Seattle sports venues are unaffordable for too many."

Let's close with Rihanna. Obviously. We had a hard time choosing between this one and that one and that one but ultimately went with this one:

Imagine it's sung directly to Queen Elizabeth.

Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer: Jan 13-Feb 14 at Bagley Wright Theatre
Part theater, part revival, and all power, this one-woman show will have your head nodding and hands clapping!