Erin Slomski-Pritz | KNKX

Erin Slomski-Pritz

Soldiers stand outside a barracks building at Fort Lewis in Pierce County in 1918. A sign over the door of the barracks reads partially “Company B." The men were under quarantine for Spanish influenza.
Gregg Courtwright Collection / Washington State Historical Society

When Washington experienced the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country, the Washington State Historical Society began receiving requests for archival materials about the 1918 Spanish influenza. Margaret Wetherbee, the museum’s head of collections, says she didn’t find much – just some photos of officials and quarantined soldiers at Fort Lewis. 

The Washington State Historical Society is collaborating with Write253 on a poetry event to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Washington State Historical Society

In Tacoma, the observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day is typically marked by celebrations, workshops and performances across the city. But this year, civic-minded organizations are finding ways to engage participants from a distance. The Washington State Historical Society, in collaboration with literary arts organization Write253, is doing this through poetry. 

Chris Wilkerson used to get phone calls in the middle of the night about poop.

Wilkerson, who was part of Seattle Public Utilities' Spill Response Team, says the calls were usually from the public. Typically, he says, the caller would tell him, "Hey, there's a puddle of poo" in the street. And many times, the excrement would be coming from a recreational vehicle.

Seattle's public utility has designated an employee to knock on RV doors around the city and ask if the occupants want their sewage tank pumped.

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