The Associated Press

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The Associated Press (“AP”) is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from the AP. Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

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Breaking News
7:08 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Major quake, tsunami hits Japan; limited evacuations on Washington coast due to wave threat

Cars and other Debris swept away by tsunami tidal waves are seen in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, after strong earthquakes hit the area Friday, March 11, 2011.
Keichi Nakane Yomiuri Shimbun

Updated 7:08 a.m., PST.  

The National Weather Service (NOAA) has issued a tsunami advisory for the Washington Coast following the massive 8.9 quake in northeast Japan.

Tsunami 'Advisory' Definition, from the National Weather Service:

  • Persons in a tsunami “Advisory” coastal area should move out of the water, off the beach and out of harbors and marinas.
  • Tsunami Advisories mean that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to people in or very near water is imminent or expected.
  • Significant widespread inundation is NOT expected for areas in an ‘advisory.'

 

Waves Expected Here After 7 a.m.; Some Evacuations on Coast

In Pacific and Grays Harbor counties, emergency management officials say "limited" evacuations are taking place. 

In Grays Harbor County, evacuations are taking place in the lowest-lying areas of Taholah, Pacific Beach, Moclips and Iron Springs (north of Copalis Beach), are people are being asked to move to higher ground.  A wave surge of up to 4 feet is projected for those areas shortly after 7 a.m. this morning, the highest level of wave expected to hit Washington state.

Pacific County has implemented its 'reverse 911' system, calling residents on the coast and in lowlying areas and asking them to evacuate calmly. He says an orderly evacuation is happening in Long Beach, Ilwaco and Ocean Park.

People are being asked to stay away from the beaches, harbors and coastal lowlands. Although the initial wave times are indicated, the highest wave may not impact the area for a few hours after that time.

In Oregon, tsunami sirens are blaring in coastal communities, the warning for residents to seek higher ground.  Traffic is heavy on the main transportation artery, Highway 101. In Seaside, at least one hotel has been evacuated. Waves in Oregon may be as high as 6 feet, and expected to arrive between 7 and 8 a.m.

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Former Washington Governor
10:11 am
Wed March 9, 2011

Obama nominates Locke as ambassador to China

President Barack Obama, left, announces that Commerce Sec. Gary Locke, right, will be the next US ambassador to China, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House Wednesday, March, 9, 2011. Locke is replacing Jon Huntsman.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP Photo

 WASHINGTON (AP)     President Barack Obama has nominated Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be the next U.S. ambassador to China. At a White House appearance Wednesday (Video), Obama credited Locke for expanding exports to China and said he has earned the trust of business leaders.

The post is one of the most important diplomatic jobs in government. If confirmed by the Senate, Locke would become the first Chinese-American to serve as the envoy to China.

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Law and Justice
2:41 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

State investigates patient's escape from Western State Hospital

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services is reviewing how a patient was able to escape from
Western State Hospital at Lakewood.

Jonathan D. Wilson remained in Pierce County Jail over the weekend, and Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis says officials are deciding Monday where he should be transferred. 

The News Tribune's Stacia Glenn reports Wilson may be headed to Mason County.

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Law & Justice
2:16 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Pierce County deputy dies after being treated for on-duty injuries

A Pierce County sheriff's spokesman says a 29-year-old deputy has died less than 24 hours after undergoing
surgery for an injury he suffered in an on-duty assault last year.

Spokesman Ed Troyer called Shandon Wright's death Thursday night "a duty-related death" and said fellow officers were shocked.

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Unemployment
4:38 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

State's jobless rate drops

Washington state added 11,000 jobs in January as the unemployment rate in state dropped from 9.3%  in December to 9.1% at the start of the year.

It's the strongest month of job growth in three years, and the largest since November 2007, the month before the national recession began. The gains came outside the agriculture sector.

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Transportation
6:09 pm
Mon February 28, 2011

Avalanche, heavy snow close I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass for hours

The scene at Denny Creek along I-90 in east King County late Monday afternoon. Snow has been falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour.
WSDOT

Updated 9: 21 p.m.

Avalanche danger, heavy snowfall and spun-out vehicles have kept Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass closed for hours as a winter storm buffets the Washington Cascades. Eastbound lanes reopened late this afternoon, and westbound lanes later Monday evening.

Transportation officials closed the pass late Monday morning due to eight inches of snow that had fallen since 6 a.m., plus poor visibility and spinouts.

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Environment
10:01 am
Sun February 27, 2011

Freight train derails near Tacoma; at least 50 gallons of lye spilled

Crews work to pull away collided trains and get four overturned cars off the beach at Chambers Bay, near Tacoma, where two freight trains sideswiped, toppling several cars of sodium hydroxide (lye) Saturday evening.
Dan gigharbor.patch.com

Updated 12:15 p.m. Sunday, February 27: Authorities report the leak has since been repaired, according to a statement from West Pierce Fire & Rescue Sunday as reported by Q13 FOX TV. Authorities confirmed that about 50 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled. Amtrak passenger service between Seattle and Portland has been suspended because of the accident.

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Defense
4:58 pm
Fri February 25, 2011

Boeing workers and unions celebrate winning bid for Air Force tanker contract

It's a day of celebration and pride at the Boeing plant in Everett, after the company won the $35 billion-dollar Air Force contract for a new aerial tanker fleet. 

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Environment
4:36 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Clean up continues after fuel tanker spill on Olympic Peninsula

This image was captured by a WSDOT worker at the site of a tanker fuel spill near the Olympic Peninsula town of Forks on Wednesday. Clean up continues there.
WSDOT Flickr

An estimated 4,300 gallons of fuel spilled Wednesday when a tanker truck overturned on U.S. Highway 101 about 25 miles south of Forks. Work continues at the site today to contain the spill as quickly as possible.

Kim Schmanke of the state's Department of Ecology says crews righted the damaged trailer late Wednesday afternoon. The State Patrol says the truck driver wasn't injured in crash yesterday morning. 

Schmanke says response agencies and cleanup contractors are working to recover the spilled fuel and assess environmental impacts.

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Defense
2:37 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Boeing wins massive Air Force refueling tanker contract

The Pentagon wants Boeing to build the next generation of Air Force refueling tankers. The contract is worth $35 billion. Boeing's bid beat out rival EADS, parent of Airbus. 

The Air Force has tried for nearly a decade to replace its aging fleet of Eisenhower-era tankers, the equivalent of a flying gas station.

The planes will be based on Boeing's 767 jetliner.  The work is expected to impact 50,000 jobs, according to the Associated Press.

Washington's congressional leaders are celebrating the announcement. In a statement issued shortly after the Pentagon's choice was made public, Senator Patty Murray cheered the decision:

“This decision is a major victory for the American workers, the American aerospace industry and America’s military. And it is consistent with the President’s own call to ‘out-innovate’ and ‘out-build’ the rest of the world," Murray stated.

 

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Hostages on Yacht
4:54 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Remembering Seattle sailors, killed by Somali pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle with their friend Walter Friesen, before a race/rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), an event affectionately known as the Baja Haha.
Courtesy of Walter Friesen

Family and friends are grieving the loss of a Seattle couple who were killed as they sailed around the world.  They were captured by Somali pirates, along with another couple from California. 

Walter Friesen  knew them.  He's a member of the Seattle Singles Yacht Club, where the deceased couple met. 

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Hostages on Yacht
11:22 am
Tue February 22, 2011

U.S. military: Seattle couple among four killed by Somali pirates

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle are pictured here in 2005 in California. Macay and Riggle, both of Seattle, were reported killed by Somali pirates today, as were Scott and Jean Adam, aboard the yacht Quest, according to the U.S. military.
Courtesy Joe Grande

Updated at 11:22 a.m.

The U.S. military reports pirates have killed four American hostages they were holding on a yacht off Somalia's coast. The U.S. Central Command says negotiations had been under way to try to win release of the two couples on the pirated vessel Quest.

Gunshots were heard; and when U.S. forces reached the yacht, they found four all four hostages had been shot.

Two of the hostages. Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, are from the Seattle area. Quest was owned by Jean and Scott Adam, a couple from California who had been sailing around the world since December 2004.  The Associated Press reports U.S. Navy personnel administered to the four as soon as they could board the boat, but all had died from their wounds.

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Law and Justice
8:54 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Supreme Court won't hear appeal on state's campaign disclosure laws

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal challenging campaign disclosure laws in Washington state.

The court on Tuesday let stand without comment a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the state's disclosure requirements. Human Life of Washington challenged the requirements as a violation of the First Amendment. The group didn't want to reveal its donors in a 2008 campaign opposing an assisted suicide ballot measure.

Law and Justice
9:19 am
Mon February 21, 2011

State prison inmates are now older, whiter and more violent

Correctional officer Ken Kleinworth frisks an inmate leaving a dining hall at the Washington Corrections Center in Shleton last Thursday. The population of Washington state prison inmates has become whiter, older and more violent in the past decade.
AP

The population of Washington state prison inmates has become whiter, older and more violent in the past decade. That's according to an Associated Press review of Department of Corrections records.

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John T. Williams Shooting
4:34 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Seattle police officer Ian Birk resigns after report finds fault

The Seattle police officer who fatally shot a woodcarver on a downtown street last summer has resigned.

Chief John Diaz says Officer Ian Birk resigned as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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