Gene Johnson

Associated Press Reporter
Jim Mone / AP Photo

 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says police don't need permission to record their interactions with citizens using cameras worn on their uniforms.

In an opinion issued Monday, Ferguson says interactions with on-duty police are presumed to be public, and therefore officers are under no obligation to turn off the cameras if people object to being recorded — even if the conversation is being recorded in someone's home.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington state is warning dozens of people who applied to run legal marijuana shops that their chance of getting a license is in jeopardy.

The Liquor Control Board on Wednesday began sending letters to 56 businesses. The board says they scored lucky numbers in lotteries conducted in April, putting them in a good position to win a coveted marijuana retail license, but they haven't moved forward with their applications since then.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Washington state have begun.

Eager customers bought pot at 8 a.m. at Bellingham's Top Shelf Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle that started selling marijuana as soon as was allowed under state regulations.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

College student Jon Meis, who has shied away from the spotlight since he ended a Seattle campus shooting by pepper-spraying the gunman last week, said Monday it's hard to accept his status as a hero.

Meis, 22, and his family have declined media requests since the shooting, with relatives going as far as to ask his high school not to grant interviews about him.

But on Monday, Meis issued a written statement through Seattle Pacific University, where the shooting occurred Thursday.

Donald Douglass had a small spot on his forehead when he went to the Seattle Veterans Affairs hospital in 2011.

A biopsy confirmed it was cancerous. But it was four months before the hospital scheduled an appointment for him to have it removed, and by then, it had spread, wrapping around a facial nerve and eventually getting into his blood.

The delay proved fatal, his lawyer said, and it mirrors concerns being raised about the VA system nationally.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado — a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that's long been illegal under federal law.

Ed Andrieski / AP Photo

Washington state's first legal marijuana license is going to a guy named Green.

The Associated Press has learned that Spokane grower Sean Green, the chief executive of a company called Kouchlock Productions, is due to be issued a producer-processor license at the state Liquor Control Board meeting in Olympia on Wednesday morning.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP Photo

Washington's Supreme Court says people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages they send from their phones — even if they can't know for sure who might be reading them.

A judge has thrown out true-crime author Ann Rule's defamation lawsuit against a weekly Seattle newspaper.

Rule sued the Seattle Weekly and freelance author Rick Swart over a piece published in 2011 that accused her of "sloppy storytelling" and criticized her book about an Oregon woman who killed her husband.

Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says cities and counties can block licensed marijuana businesses from operating.

In a long-awaited opinion Thursday, Ferguson says the state's legal marijuana law, Initiative 502, leaves local governments the option of adopting moratoriums or bans that prohibit licensed grow operations, processing facilities or retail shops from their jurisdictions.

AP Photo

Washington state could be facing a curious economic problem: too many pot growers.

More than 2,600 applications have been submitted to produce the marijuana that will be sold at state-licensed stores when Washington's legal marijuana industry opens for business this year.

AP Photo

Washington state is looking at a major overhaul of its medical marijuana system, to avoid competition with the recreational market and to avert any crackdowns from the federal government.

The state's Liquor Control Board on Wednesday approved its final recommendations to the Legislature about how it believes the largely unregulated medical system can be brought under the umbrella of Initiative 502.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

The nation's largest freight rail carriers have announced they will provide health benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, one day after legally married, gay engineers filed a federal lawsuit in Seattle.

Gus Melonas, a spokesman for BNSF Railway Co., read the statement from the National Railway Labor Conference to The Associated Press on Wednesday. The conference represents the railroad companies in dealings with labor groups.

A federal judge has ruled that two Washington cities have systematically violated the rights of poor defendants to have legal representation.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued Mount Vernon and Burlington two years ago, alleging that public defenders there were so overworked that they amounted to little more than "a warm body with a law degree."

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Two workers are suing BNSF, one of the nation's largest rail companies, saying their same-sex spouses have repeatedly been denied health benefits even though gay marriage is legal in Washington state.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle states BNSF refused to add the spouses of locomotive engineer Michael Hall and conductor Amie Garrand to their plans.

The family of a Washington state woman who leads a vigilante police force in Mexico is pushing for her to be released after three months in custody on kidnapping allegations.

Supporters of Nestora Salgado say the charges are trumped up. The International Human Rights Clinic at Seattle University School of Law on Monday petitioned the United Nations for her release.

Associated Press

New figures from the Washington State Patrol show that more drivers have tested positive for marijuana since the state legalized the drug last year.

In the first six months of 2013, the patrol's crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.

Associated Press

Seattle attorney Kurt Boehl is happy to think he's contributing to the success of Washington's grand experiment in regulating marijuana by advising his clients on how to navigate the industry's legal complexities.

But there's a worry that his efforts could earn him an ethics complaint. After all, marijuana is illegal under federal law, and lawyers aren't supposed to help their clients break the law.

Associated Press

One selling point of Washington's new legal marijuana law was that a huge chunk of pot-related tax revenue would be devoted to health coverage for low-income residents.

But it's not clear the money will go to health care after all.Under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," a would-be recipient of the pot taxes— Washington's Basic Health Plan—is being eliminated. The plan, which provided low-cost health insurance to the working poor, is being absorbed by Medicaid and will end Dec. 31, according the state Health Care Authority.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

As the proprietor of a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Dawn Darington has seen patients wracked by AIDS and cancer. She's also seen "patients" who show up for a free pot brownie and never come back.

Now, Washington is pushing forward with plans to entice the latter into its new world of legal, taxed recreational pot, and advocates like Darington say they're worried about where that's going to leave those who actually need cannabis.

The family of an American man detained in North Korea for the past 11 months says his mother is being allowed to visit him.

Terri Chung, the sister of Kenneth Bae, tells The Associated Press their mother has arrived in Pyongyang and was scheduled to meet with him Friday morning local time.

  Officials are rejecting permits for two major oil-train terminals in Southwest Washington after deciding the projects should face more environmental scrutiny.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

The man identified as the shooter in the Washington Navy Yard slayings had been arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car in what he described as an anger-fueled "black out."

Two construction workers building a new home told police that Aaron Alexis walked out of a home next door on May 6, 2004, pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired three shots into the rear tires of their parked car.

AP Photo

Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it — as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.

In a sweeping new policy statement prompted by pot legalization votes in Washington and Colorado last fall, the department gave the green light to states to adopt tight regulatory schemes to oversee the medical and recreational marijuana industries burgeoning across the country.

Peter Millet / Associated Press

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, who pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty, showed no emotion as the verdict was announced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle.

Peter Millet / Associated Press

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan villagers apologized for his "act of cowardice" as he made his case for why he should one day have a shot at freedom.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said Thursday that he was operating "behind a mask of fear ... and bravado" when he went on a solo nighttime mission and slaughtered villagers in mud-walled huts.

Peter Millet / Associated Press

An older brother of the U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year is telling a military jury about what his sibling was like as a youth.

Bill Bales says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was an outgoing youngster who served as his high school class president and captain of the football team in Norwood, Ohio, where they grew up.

DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File/AP Photo

Jury selection is underway in the sentencing of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians during raids on two villages last year.

Bales pleaded guilty in June to premeditated murder and other charges in a deal to avoid the death penalty. This week's sentencing will determine whether he is sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, or without it.

DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File/AP photo

Army prosecutors said Monday they have a recording of a phone call in which Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and his wife laugh as they review the charges filed against him in the killing of 16 Afghan villagers.

Bales, an Ohio native and father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty for killing the civilians, mostly women and children, on March 11, 2012.

AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock

A military judge says a team of Army prosecutors can remain on the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for his sentencing next week, even after they read documents they weren't supposed to.

Bales pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids last year.

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