Friday morning's headlines

Jul 1, 2011

Sounds great, but don't hold your breath: Mostly sunny, with a high near 68. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

UW approves 20 percent tuition hike

The University of Washington has approved a 20 percent tuition hike for next year – one of the single biggest percentage cost spikes in the school's history.

The Seattle Times reports that regents for the state's largest university approved the hike on Thursday. Next fall, undergraduate tuition and fees will total $10,574 for an in-state student. Out-of-state tuition will jump 10 percent to $27,230.

The UW went beyond the 16 percent tuition hike lawmakers penciled in during budget negotiations. Lawmakers also passed a new law that allowed the state's colleges to raise their own tuition. Previously, the Legislature had set tuition rates.

Starting now: Washington parks are no longer free

People who visit state recreation lands starting Friday will have to buy a $30 annual pass or a $10 day-use permit. State officials are using the revenue to operate the parks after other money was moved to help balance the budget.

Passes will be required for access to 120 state parks and millions of acres managed by the state. That includes boat launches, campgrounds, heritage sites, wildlife areas and trails.

The passes can be purchased online or at retail outlets that also sell hunting and fishing licenses. People who do not have a Discover Pass displayed on their vehicle at state lands face a fine of $99.

Off the AP wire: Crane topples; former chief sues, and more

  • A construction crane working on a new commuter rail line has toppled over in Tacoma but the operator was not hurt. The accident occurred late yesterday afternoon.
  • An Everett police officer acquitted on a murder charge in the fatal shooting of a man in a car has been fired. A letter to Troy Meade from Police Chief Jim Scharf cites "unacceptable misconduct." The Daily Herald says an internal investigation determined that Meade violated department policies when he fatally shot Niles Meservey on June 10, 2009.
  • The Pierce County prosecutor says two Tacoma police officers were justified in fatally shooting a man who fired at them on Jan. 28. The officers noticed a man who matched the description of a car prowler. Police say when the officers asked Robert O'Connell for identification he pulled a handgun out of his jacket and fired once at each officer. Neither was struck. Both returned fire and killed the 42-year-old man.
  • A car has slammed into a police cruiser on the shoulder of I-405 in Bellevue, injuring a state trooper and the motorist he had stopped. The driver of the car that struck the cruiser is seriously injured and hospitalized. Police say she could face charges.
  • The former police chief of Medina has filed a $14 million wrongful termination claim against the wealthy Seattle suburb, accusing the city manager and mayor of racial prejudice. Chen, who is Asian, says the city manager referred to him as "you people."

Car-repair scam ends in theft of wallet, arrest

The Seattle Times reports that police officers arrested a 19-year-old man early Thursday morning on suspicion of stealing an 87-year-old man’s wallet from his back pocket after he refused to pay for a fake car repair.

The victim had parked his car at his North Seattle home at 5:45 p.m. on June 16. Another car, a black Dodge Charger parked beside him, and the female driver told the man there was something wrong with one of his tires, the website says.

A passenger in the Dodge got out of the car and started making motions as if he were working on the man’s tire, even though the victim indicated he didn’t think there was anything wrong with his car.

The suspect eventually replaced the wheel cover of the man’s car, and demanded $350 for the repair.

Famed Olympia Brewery site future shaping up

Mixed-use urban centers, a LOTT facility and multi-family residential properties could work at the former Olympia Brewery site, reports The Olympian, but most will need some sort of public funding, according to a consultant’s findings.

 “We’ve started to draw some conclusions for uses of the property,” said Fitzsimmons from Lorig Associates, who serves as the brewery visioning project manager and Lorig’s chief operating officer.

Hundreds of public comments gathered during a previous meeting were narrowed down to core values and themes such as the area’s environment and making sure any development includes jobs.