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Police Accountability
8:53 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Probe of native woodcarver shooting deemed fair, but mistakes made by Seattle investigators

Another peer review of Seattle's handling of the John T. Williams shooting has found the police department conducted a fair and thorough investigation. 

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Police Accountability
7:54 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Seattle forum on police conduct draws anger, demands for change

Protesters state their views on Seattle Police Chief John Diaz during a police accountability forum at city hall Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in this image from KOMO-TV.
KOMO-TV

Hundreds packed a Seattle forum on police accountability Thursday evening, an event which quickly turned into a showcase of public anger over recent incidents involving questions of excessive force against ethnic minorities.

The event, sponsored by Mayor Mike McGinn and The Stranger, was organized in the wake of tensions following the shooting death last year of First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams by Officer Ian Birk. 

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News Roundup
7:17 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

Here's what's making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Angry Crowd at Seattle Police Accountability Forum
  •  Investigation of John T. Williams shooting Deemed Fair
  • Legislature Nixes Governor's Plan for Regional Ferry Authority

 

Anger, outbursts at forum on Seattle Police conduct

A Seattle police accountability forum at City Hall turned into a shouting match at times, and some demanded the resignation of Police Chief John Diaz. 

KOMO News reports the goal of the Thursday night meeting was to restore trust between police and minorities.

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Animal Cruelty
4:21 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Investigation widens into B.C. sled dog killings

An image from the website for Outdoor Adventures Whistler, which offers sled dog outings.
adventureswhistler.com

What led to killings of 100 sled dogs in Whistler last spring? British Columbia's Premier Gordon Campbell has appointed a task force as part of a widening investigation into the animal deaths at a dog sled compound near the winter resort town of Whistler.

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Basic Health Plan
2:23 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Proposal would cut illegal immigrants from Basic Health Plan

Undocumented immigrants would lose state medical coverage under a proposal to save the popular Basic Health insurance program. The get-tough measure is part of a budget-cutting plan unveiled by the State Senate. But it's at odds with a competing approach in the House.

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Law and Justice
2:12 pm
Thu February 3, 2011

Guilty verdict in murder-for-hire case of Clearly Lasik co-founder

The co-founder of a Northwest chain of eye-surgery centers has been convicted of plotting to kill two former colleagues.


Dr. Michael Mockovak of Clearly Lasik eye centers was found guilty Thursday of four counts, including attempted murder. The King County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days.


Prosecutors said Mockovak was willing to pay more than $100,00 to have business partner Dr. Joseph King and former company president Brad Klock killed, and that he solicited an employee to hire an assassin.

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Climate change
11:17 am
Thu February 3, 2011

State takes baby steps on climate change in agreement with B.C.

Bellingham Bay and Mt. Baker, as seen from Gooseberry Point, in Nov. 2008. Climate change is predicted to raise sea levels by as much as three feet by century's end. A new effort between Washington and British Columbia takes on climate change.
electronavalanche Flickr

Washington’s neighbors to the north (British Columbia) and to the south (California) are gearing up to launch a regional carbon cap-and-trade system next year. It’s the centerpiece of the Western Climate Initiative, a regional effort to tackle global warming.

In Olympia, however, environment officials are rolling out more modest climate measures.

For example: a pair of agreements signed Wednesday (with much fanfare) between the state and B.C.  

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TRANSPORTATION
9:59 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Metro bus route changes take effect this Saturday

Waiting for public transit Metro bus in downtown Seattle on 4th Avenue.
Gary Davis KPLU

King County's Metro Transit is making lots of changes to its bus schedules starting this Saturday, February 5.

Who's affected?

The changes will impact all areas of the county and include routing and bus stop changes for approximately two dozen routes from various areas of the county that pass through downtown Seattle.

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K-12 Education
8:12 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Foss High supporters to hold rally to save school from closure

Students across the Puget Sound have made posters in support of keeping Foss High School open. This one was created by students at Gig Harbor High School.
Save our home: Henry Foss High School facebook page

Foss High School students, parents and community supporters will line the streets around the school today in an effort to save it from temporary closure.

The superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools has proposed mothballing Foss and some small elementary schools for at least three years to reduce the district’s budget deficit. He says closing the high school could save $2 Million next year. 

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News Roundup
7:35 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

The 787 Dreamliner, after a test flight in Dec. 2009. Boeing is hinting it might make the 787 production line in Everett permanent.
AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Budget Cuts Create Backlog for King County Prosecutor
  • Boeing Says More 787 Work Possible in Everett
  • Six Years of Rate Increases Needed, Says Seattle City Light
  • State Patrol to Investigate Gig Harbor Police Chief

 

Budget Cuts Strain King Co. Prosecutor Staff

The King County Prosecutor says his office can’t keep up with high-priority crimes because of budget cuts and a jump in aggravated assaults. Doug Satterberg has asked the County Council for $225,000 in emergency funding. The Seattle Times' Keith Ervin reports the request comes six months after voters rejected a proposed sales tax increase:

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Record Bin Roulette
4:49 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Super Bowl halftime show review

It's the unlikely history of the biggest halftime show on the planet: the Super Bowl. Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be  Super Bowl XLV - yes, 45 years of the Big Game - and among the millions watching some will be hanging on to see what passes as entertainment for the masses.

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Payday Lending
3:35 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Internet lending worries spur move to end payday loan limits

Under a law that went into effect last year, brick-and-mortar payday lenders are highly regulated in Washington state. There's concern the law may be driving low-income borrowers to the "wild west" of the Internet, where fees are even higher.
Photo by taberandrew Flickr

A state law that went into effect early last year limited the number of payday loans borrowers could get per year to eight. It aims to protect people from falling into an endless spiral of debt.

But a Tacoma legislator, who originally backed the law, says it's driving people into the clutches of far worse lenders, on the Internet. 

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Gregoire makes rare appearance before legislature to tout education system reforms

Christine Gregoire says she had an "aha moment" last summer about why Washington's education system isn't getting any better.

The governor made a rare appearance before a legislative committee Wednesday to talk about her proposal to create a new cabinet-level Department of Education that would oversee all the state's education efforts, committees and boards, from early learning to college.

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Life in the Northwest
1:34 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Historic schooner mast travels along I-5 Thursday

The pilot schooner Zodiac when it was owned by the Johnson family in the 1920s
Vessel Zodiac Corporation

Commuters on I-5 may see something a little different on Thursday: a truck carrying a 114-foot, tall ship's mast. It's for the Bellingham-based historic schooner Zodiac.


The Zodiac lost its old mast and boom last September in an incident near Lummi Island.

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State Budget
11:04 am
Wed February 2, 2011

State cuts benefits to welfare families


In a single day, Washington cut more than 5,000 families from the state's welfare-to-work program. That's because a strict, five-year limit on benefits kicked in. It's a cost-cutting measure ordered by the Governor.

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