Another jackpot in Washington: Gold dust or bust, baby! A mining company found a gold deposit potentially worth $3 billion near Republic, Washington. You may remember Republic as the town with a one-person police department. The one person? Failed gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, who worked as the "police chief." Well, he worked as the police chief until the town cut his job after he lost the governor's race. Anyway, a Canadian mining company found the gold on their company-owned site called "Golden Eagle." Maybe they will give each of us a little bit because we're cute? 

January Sixther sentenced to three years: The jabroni who carried a Confederate flag into the US Capitol during the insurrection received his comeuppance today. He brought the flag as a sign of "protest... but had not considered the logic of those who see the flag as a symbol of American racism,” NBC News reports. Critical thinking was never the strong suit of any of these people. 

Speaking of which, the Jan 6 special counsel subpoenaed Pence: The counsel wants Pence's two cents on Donald Trump's efforts to stay in power after he lost the 2020 election and allegedly incited a violent insurrection. As a key witness, one who Trump asked to obstruct the certification of the election, Pence's testimony is a big deal.

LA's streeteries face new red tape: Restauranteurs across the country will tell you the street cafe saved their businesses when people couldn't eat indoors. In the midst of pandemic pandemonium, restaurants set up these little huts without many fees or red tape. Now, LA wants to create an expensive permitting process for existing street cafes and add more restrictions and bureaucratic headaches. Restaurant owners are mad.

This is the most important news: I have found the pinnacle of snacks. 

More on that forklift crash from earlier this week: Jessica Valdez, 27, died on Tuesday when a drunk forklift driver crashed into the car she was riding in. According to court documents, cops found alcohol bottles around the forklift driver. He took a breath test and scored a .20 blood alcohol level. A judge set the driver's bail at $300,000. Valdez, a mother of three kids under 10, would have turned 28 today. 

Now that's some strong chocolate: Consumer Reports found unsafe levels of heavy metals in 28 chocolate bars, including two from Seattle's own Theo Chocolate. Both Theo’s Organic Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa and Theo’s Organic Pure Dark 70% Cocoa contain high levels of lead and cadmium. 

More than 21,000 dead in Syria, Turkey quake: Survivors are digging trenches to create mass graves for all the dead. Around 75,000 people sustained injuries during the quake. World Health Organization officials warned survivors may face a "second disaster" with many of them out in the open in terrible conditions. 

Bird flu jumps to other animals in Colorado: A "highly pathogenic avian influenza" is infecting birds across the country. First detected last March in Colorado, the H5N1 variant has now jumped to mammals. Colorado wildlife officials found H5N1 in a black bear who was having seizures, a sickly skunk, and a mountain lion with "liver damage and bronchointerstitial pneumonia," writes the Denver Post. I, personally, am not ready for the "multiple-pandemics-at-the-same-time" phase of climate change. 

"Pro-Life Spiderman" chats with Tucker Carlson: This guy climbs skyscrapers to spread anti-abortion rhetoric? His analogy about abortion being like a skyscraper could use some work. 

Another George Santos scandal: According to Politico, in 2017 Santos bought puppies from dog breeders in Pennsylvania's Amish Country, but the checks he used bounced. Instead of paying the $15,125, Santos said his checkbook was stolen and he never bought those puppies. However, days after the date on those "fraudulent" checks, Santos hosted an adoption event on Staten Island with his charity Friends of Pets United. Leave it to this guy to try to swindle the sweet, sweet Amish. 

A prickly problem for the Swiss: With warming temperatures and less snow in the Swiss alps, cacti take up root. Yep, the Swiss Alps have an invasive cacti species flourishing on their mountainsides. 

The Super Bowl is this weekend: Who cares about the game when Rihanna's playing the half-time show? She'll be making her first on-stage musical performance in seven years. Here's Rihanna talking about the performance:

A mild weekend ahead: You can expect some scattered showers in Seattle Friday. By Saturday, we'll be enjoying a dry, partly cloudy weekend. The cold and wet comes back on Monday.