KPLU News Staff

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Associated Press

Maybe you didn't get the word that the law changed last June: Using your cellphone while driving -- unless you have a hands-free connection -- is a primary offense in Washington.

That means officers can pull you over and write you a $124 ticket, even if you're otherwise obeying the traffic laws. It used to be only a secondary offense, meaning police had to see you speeding, or making an illegal turn, for example, before ticketing you.

The Seattle Times has figured out that Seattle Police have issued about six times as many cellphone tickets since the law changed, compared to the previous year, and the Washington State Patrol has issued about five times more tickets. 

Flikr

30 percent chance of showers this morning. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Fast-attack sub commander relieved of duty
  • Odd news roundup: Biting flies, yearbook fail
  • Groups push for minority districts in Washington
  • Seattle parking meters balk at credit cards

Navy cans officer over classified information

The Navy says the commanding officer of a fast attack submarine homeported in Washington state has been relieved of duty after an investigation into the mishandling of classified information.

According to a Navy announcement, Cmdr. Michael Varney was reassigned Monday for violating a general order, making a false official statement and for wrongful interference in an adverse administrative proceeding.

University of Washington / U of W

Its scientific name is Amorphophallus Titanum, but its most commonly known as a corpse flower.  And it could bloom any day now in the University of Washington's botany green house.

cdine / Flikr

Chance of rain or drizzle this morning, possibly increasing to showers this afternoon. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Regents at WSU hike tuition 16 percent
  • Aurora Bridge earthquake work has to be redone
  • Amazon staffers among the most stressed
  • Bellevue City Council probe narrowed to one
  • Seattle reassigns police to promote nightlife safety

WSU Regents hike tuition 16 percent

The Regents of Washington State University have approved a sixteen percent increase in in-state undergraduate tuition on the same day that Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law legislation giving Washington state’s four-year universities authority to set their own tuition.

KIRO TV.com

Partly sunny today. High near 70. Southwest wind between 6 and 8 mph.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Police shoot and kill bear in Lynnwood neighborhood
  • State is investigating Seattle district's sale of MLK school
  • Chief Seattle's 145-year-old gravesite gets a new look
  • Concert review: U2 lifts off on a perfect day at Quest Field

A bear fleeing capture was killed this morning in Lynnwood

Police have killed a bear they were tracking overnight in a Lynnwood neighborhood, the Associated Press reports. KIRO-TV captured video of the bear fleeing and being killed. Lynnwood police spokeswoman Shannon Sessions said the bear was dangerous because it was too close to homes and a nearby school.

Shawn McClung / Flickr

New air services connecting Seattle to Iceland and Asia have helped Washington state lead the nation in attracting visitors from overseas, according to the U.S. Commerce Department and Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tying with Nevada for the highest percentage growth in foreign visitors from 2009 to 2010, Washington state visits increased by 32 percent compared with an 11-percent growth nationally.

Among top U.S. cities, Seattle and Los Angeles led with a 33-percent increase in attracting foreign visitors. Other cities with double-digit increases were Las Vegas with 31 percent; Atlanta, 25 percent, and San Diego, 24 percent.

Twenty-nine towers, parking structures and elevated berms may be built on the Washington coast as emergency sites where people could ride out a tsunami.

The "vertical elevation" sites would be able to withstand a 30-foot wave and would be available to residents and tourists with a 30-minute warning.

kickoutsodexo.usas.org

Sunny today. High 65. Warm & sunny weekend ahead. Highs in 70s to 80. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Everett's Cascade H.S. Heightens Security After Threats
  • Lawyers: Juror's Actions Cost Clemmons' Getaway Driver a Fair Trial
  • Missing Snowshoer Rescued in North Cascades
  • U.W. Students Arrested in Sodexo Protest

 

Threats May Keep Everett High School Students Home

Parents of students at Everett's Cascade High School have permission to keep their kids home today. The school has been targeted by vandals, who used the memorial-day weekend to smash a concrete replica of the school's mascot and spray-paint violent warnings. 

One threat warned that five students would be shot today (Fri.)

Mic Smith / AP

Three employees at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston, South Carolina plant want roles in a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relations Board.

Meredith Going Sr., Dennis Murray and Cynthia Ramaker say in a motion filed Wednesday that they are sure to lose their jobs if the federal agency is successful in its suit against Boeing and the plant shuts down.

Gary Davis / KPLU

Showers Thursday. High near 58. Warm and sunny this weekend.  Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Search Continues for Snowshoer Near Stevens Pass
  • Seattle Attorney Accused of 'Keying' Misparked Cars
  • Two Found Dead in Tacoma House
  • Western Washington Temps Could Hit 80 This Weekend

 

Minnesota Snowshoer Missing in North Cascades

The Chelan County sheriff's office says the search is continuing Thursday for a 21-year-old man overdue on a snowshoe hike near Stevens Pass in Washington's North Cascades.

Photo courtesy of Army Times

Showers likely through Thursday. Highs near 60. Latest forecast here:

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Lewis-McChord Soldier Will Receive Medal of Honor
  • Green Beret With Port Angeles Ties is Killed in Afghanistan
  • Early Parole Likely for Man Who Killed Girl in 1982
  • Tacoma Police Search for Driver Who Hit Officer

 

Western Washington-Based Army Sgt. to Recieve Medal of Honor

President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor to an Army sergeant based in Washington state for courage on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

The White House says Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry will receive the nation's highest military decoration in a ceremony July 12.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Home prices in major markets around the U.S. dropped to their lowest levels since 2006 in March. But not in Seattle.

After falling almost two percent in February, Seattle home prices were up a modest 0.1 percent in March, but still down 7.5 percent compared to March 2010.

KING-TV

Showers likely through Thursday. Highs around 60. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Police Seek Driver After  Stolen Car Hits Girl, 9
  • Three Killed in Two Fatal Crashes on I-90 Over Weekend
  • Tacoma House Fire Kills Two

 

Nine-year-old Hit by Stolen Car in Seattle

Seattle Police are seeking information about a hit-and-run driver whose stolen car jumped a curb and hit a 9-year-old girl.

msmvps.com

 

Clouds and showers through Memorial Day, except mostly sunny Sunday. Highs near 60. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

 

  • Key Investor Wants Balmer Ousted from Microsoft
  • Federal Way Theatens to Sue Sound Transit to Get Light Rail
  • Seattle Wants to Name Problem Cops; Will Appeal Arbitrator's Ruling
  • Woman Seriously Hurt in Everett Car-Train Collision

 

Balmer Should Go, Says Key Microsoft Investor

A key investor says it's time for Microsoft's board to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO.

Evan Vucci / AP

Commerce Secretary – and former Washington governor - Gary Locke is a step closer to becoming the next U.S. ambassador to China. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee completed his confirmation hearing in just
an hour and a half this morning. 

Ted S. Warren / AP

Scattered showers today, partly sunny - high 58. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Police Dept. Told to Stop ID'ing Misbehaving Officers
  • Gregoire Says Session Was Most Difficult in Memory
  • Body Found in Snoqualmie River Near Where Man Vanished
  • Lake Washington High School Backs Off Prom Alcohol Tests

 

Arbitrator's Ruling Shields Disciplined Seattle Officers

A labor arbitrator has ordered the Seattle Police Department to stop releasing the names of officers found to have engaged in misconduct.

Courtest of Joe Grande

A ninth Somali man has pleaded guilty to piracy for his role in the hijacking of a yacht that left four Americans - including two from Seattle - dead.

Ahmed Sala Ali Burale pleaded guilty in federal court in Norfolk on Wednesday. Muhidin Salad Omar also pleaded guilty earlier in the day.

They are among 14 people from Somalia and one from Yemen charged in connection with the February hijacking of the yacht Quest.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Rain this afternoon, high 59. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • $32 Billion Dollar Deal Closes State Budget Gap
  • Auburn Shooting Suspect Arrested Dressed as Woman
  • 3 Seattle Officers Suspended for Foul Language
  • Seattle 4th of July Fireworks a Go

 

House Passes Budget Deal, Hours After Unveiling

House lawmakers have given tentative approval to a state spending plan that cuts teacher pay and makes other massive reductions in education spending.

The measure passed Tuesday evening by a 54-42 margin, just hours after budget writers from both parties unveiled the plan.

A tentative agreement to fill Washington state's $5 billion budget shortfall includes cuts to teacher salaries.

Details of the $32 billion spending plan released Tuesday include a 1.9 percent cut for teacher pay and a 3 percent cut for other K-12 employees. Those changes will save the state $179 million over the next two years. Lawmakers are also moving to suspend voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments for education employees, saving another $300 million.

Publicola.com

Red light camera opponents in Longview and Monroe submitted initiatives Monday against the automatic traffic ticketing system. If approved, the Monroe initiative would require the city to remove its cameras and ask for voter approval before installing more.

Joe Fryer / KING 5

Partly sunny Tuesday; high near 66. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Man Missing in Snoqualmie River Presumed Drowned
  • Lake Washington HS Plans Alcohol Test to Enter Prom
  • State Lawmakers Reach Tentative Agreement on Budget
  • King Co. Animal Control Captures 2 Pit Bulls After Attack

 

No Sign of Man Swept Away by Snoqualmie River

The King County sheriff's office says searchers have been unable to find a man missing in the fast-moving Snoqualmie River since he tried to rescue a dog. A sheriff's spokesman said Monday's search was suspended at 5 p.m.

BellevueBusinessJoural.com

The longtime president of the state's largest community college is taking a new job as the Washington chancellor of a private, nonprofit online school.

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

Partly sunny Tuesday, slight chance of showers - high 59. Latest forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

 

  • State Leaders Reach Key Deal on Workers' Comp Changes
  • Teen Sought in Auburn Shooting That Killed Boy, 17
  • Gas Prices Down 5-Cents in a Week
  • Mariners Win 5th Straight

 

Legislature Reaches Deal on Workers' Compensation
 

Washington lawmakers say they have reached an agreement on how to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

West Nile Virus may be returning to Washington State. The recent wet spring has created an attractive habitat for mosquitoes, some of which carry West Nile.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Mostly sunny and 66 today, clouds tonight, chance of showers over the weekend. Latest forecast here:

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Clemmons' Getaway Driver Guilty of Murder in Lakewood Police Killings
  • Stadium Tax Extension Falls Short in Washington Senate
  • Detectives Identify Man in 2 Snohomish County Cold Cases

 

Dorcus Allen Guilty of Murder in Lakewood Police Slayings

A jury in Tacoma has convicted the getaway driver in the Lakewood police killings with first-degree murder.

The News Tribune reports the Pierce County jury did not find Dorcus Allen guilty of aggravated circumstances.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Sunny and 66 today - sun and near 70 Friday. 7-day forecast here.

In Northwest headlines this morning:

 

  • Leadership Clash Appears Behind Crimes Stoppers Resignations
  • Washington Lawmakers Struggle for Workers' Comp Deal
  • Bear Wandering Near Bothell Schools Captured
  • Former Pierce County Sheriff Seeks to Clear Record

 

Audit Finds Crime Stoppers Books Clean After Mass Board Resignations

The Seattle Police Department’s internal investigations office is looking into a mass resignation by the majority of board members of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

Ted S. Warren / AP

Washington's jobless rate is down to 9.1 percent after the state added an estimated 5,800 jobs in April.

Scott Boyd / Northwest Wreck Dives

A diver's 20-year search for the wreckage of the worst maritime disaster in Puget Sound history has apparently ended with the discovery of the Mosquito Fleet steamer Dix off Seattle's Alki Point.

The potential for new electronic billboards has brought an overwhelming negative response from Tacoma residents. So, the Tacoma City Council has approved a six-month moratorium on all billboards in the city, while a new policy is worked out.  

That reverses a legal settlement with Clear Channel. The company negotiated an agreement to put up new digital billboards in exchange for removing hundreds of traditional ones. Now, that agreement is on hold and the company is threatening to return to litigation.

Photo by Handout

Sunny and 62 Tuesday; headed for nearly 70 by Friday. Latest forecast here.

 

  • Iranians Release Former Seattle P-I Reporter
  • Missing State Trooper Found Alive in North Cascades
  • State Senate Approves Cigar Lounges
  • Seattle Schools Chief Reverses Decision to Fire Ingraham Principal

 

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