Say yes to the test: That's the chipper new name for Washington's free at-home COVID test campaign, "powered by" CareEvolution and fulfilled by Amazon warehouse workers. Just pop on over to sayyescovidhometest.org, plug in your zip code, fill out the form, and then wait one to two weeks for up to five tests to arrive.
More on the alarming conditions at King County Jail: Some people in jail are seeing no time out of their cell at all, and "the court has explicitly refused" to allow remote hearings for sentencing and arraignment proceedings despite continued high case counts within and outside of the jail, according to an email from King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Pascal Herzer to ACLU senior staff attorney John Midgley.
Last Tuesday Midgley wrote a letter to Herzer inquiring about the conditions at the county jails. Specifically, Midgley asked about reports of 1) People "being held in solitary confinement type conditions and only being allowed out for 15-30 minutes a day, which is not enough time to use the phone and shower." 2) "Some people" waiting "a week or more for clean uniforms including underwear." 3) Common areas not being cleaned. That Friday, public defenders and corrections officers joined forces to write a list of concerns about the COVID outbreak severely hobbling jail operations, with "one third of the jail locked in COVID protocols," delays of fresh meals, and limits on clients meeting with attorneys.
In his reply, Herzer claimed "full laundry service has continued during the pandemic" and that the jail "enhanced the cleaning of common areas at the KCCF and RJC facilities in response to the Omicron surge." However, he confirmed that "some individuals may receive only 30 minutes out of their cell daily; sometimes less, sometimes not at all" due to "staff shortages, the high number of inmates with COVID, limited housing space, and public health guidelines." Herzer blamed staffing, "network/technology issues," and "emergent COVID positive case temporarily freezing a unit’s movement" for delays in remote access to lawyers and courtrooms. Last week the public defenders and corrections officers both called on city leaders to create a plan to release nonviolent offenders from jail to free up space and reduce the strain on the diminished workforce.
So long, Funko: The Everett-based toymaker pulled up stakes and hauled off to a Phoenix suburb, KIRO reports. Two distribution centers, a downtown Everett HQ, and "hundreds of jobs," go with it, leaving room for some other creepy-eye toy company to move in.
The Seattle Met takes you inside that kooky house off I-5: I hear the homeowner, George Freeman, throws weird 4th of July parties.
West Seattle's Taco Time to close early over the weekend: The manager reportedly cut themselves on the job, and a replacement is hard to come by, according to the West Seattle Blog.
Pothole city: Now that the roads are dry following a string of bad weather, SDOT crews face a huge spike in reported potholes, Capitol Hill Seattle blawg reports. The task seems somewhat Sisyphean: "Many of the potholes we fill today may need to be repaired again over the next few months until the weather becomes warmer," an SDOT spokesperson told the blog.
Pierce County Sheriff's Department still hasn't found a man they suspect of "hitting two 12-year-old girls with a truck in Midland, killing one of them and leaving the other badly injured," and so now they're offering a $1,000 reward for any info, KING 5 reports.
Amazon: Destroying brick-and-mortars only to rebuild brick-and-mortars but without those pesky workers lying around:
Amazon's algorithms will soon suggest what clothes you should try on when it opens its first-ever apparel store in 2022 offering customers personalized recommendations https://t.co/5cGFEY1jym pic.twitter.com/t85Hob9Y8Y
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 20, 2022
Anti-choicers did their thing: The freaks who can't wait for SCOTUS to overturn Roe v. Wade held their annual march on Washington that "sounded more like a victory celebration," the Associated Press reports. The rally drew "thousands," many of whom were "treating the end of Roe v. Wade as inevitable." Reminder you can donate to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, which helps people in Washington and (more urgently) Idaho pay for abortions, here.
The FBI says the van-life boyfriend confessed: In a notebook found near his body, Brian Laundrie allegedly admitted to killing Gabby Petito, the AP reports. Investigators also say he "had sent text messages to intentionally deceive people that Petito, 22, was still alive after he beat and strangled her in late August, according to a statement released by the FBI in Denver."
Pour one out for the wolves of Wall Street: The stock market is "off to its worst start since 2016," the New York Times reports. Blame the Fed's plan to raise interest rates and reduce bond buying, plus smaller factors like the dip in "stay at home" stocks such as Netflix and Peloton.
Ditto the Bitcoin people:
The bitcoin price has crashed 10% over the last 24 hours, dropping under $40,000 to around $38,000, a level not seen since the summer of 2021. #cryptocrash https://t.co/pm7PU2EnoU
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 21, 2022
Two NYPD officers and a suspect shot: Details are still scarce, but CNN reports that one NYPD officer has died and another is injured after responding to a "domestic call." The New York Times reports both officers were killed and a suspect was shot, though that person's condition was not immediately available.
Never-issued Trump order would have seized voting machines: Politico reports that the order, which Trump's lawyers tried to keep from investigators looking into January 6, would have appointed a special counsel to look into the 2020 election and would have empowered the Secretary of Defense to "seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records" under a law related to election record preservation." Additionally, the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election," according to the outlet. "That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021."
Gonna leave on a chill note: A nice live version of "Salad Days" from Mac DeMarco.