Friday morning's headlines

Jan 21, 2011

Making headlines this morning:

  • Inquest of Woodcarver's Shooting Raises More Questions
  • Everett to WSU: Shall We Dance?
  • Here Come the High Tides
  • Huskies Zap Arizona for Pac 10 Lead

After Inquest, What Next?

Now that the inquest into Seattle woodcarver John T. Williams shooting death has returned mixed results , what happens next? KING-TV's Linda Byron reports:

Based on their answers, several jurors did not entirely believe Officer Ian Birk's account of what happened at the busy Seattle intersection that August day, and did not believe John T. Williams had enough time to respond to Birk's orders and drop the knife before the shooting.

The Seattle Times' has followed the case closely. Reporters Steve Miletich and Jennifer Sullivan report a mixed result from an inquest jury is uncommon:

The findings regarding the actual threat to Birk stand in contrast to previous King County inquest decisions, in which jurors have almost always upheld the actions of police officers involved in deadly shootings.The results will be reviewed by the King County Prosecutor's Office to help determine whether criminal charges are warranted, and will be considered by the Seattle Police Department as it examines Birk's actions.

Seattle Police have already taken away Birk's badge and gun after an internal review. With the inquest complete, King County prosecutors will review the findings and decide if they'll bring charges against him. That review should be complete by mid-February.

 

Everett Courting WSU Over UW 

For years now Everett and Snohomish County have openly courted the University of Washington in hopes of landing a branch campus. Sites have been considered, and reconsidered. Now Mayor Ray Stephenson is supporting legislation that would open the door for Washington State University.   

The Herald of Everett's Mike Benbow and Jerry Cornfield report:

Stephanson said the area has urgent education needs. He said that the Boeing Co. and other aerospace firms are in desperate need of engineers, expecting as many as 10,000 of them to retire in the coming five to 10 years. “This is a clarion call for really all of us,” he said, adding later that “Boeing is in the business of building airplanes and not to figure out how higher education should be delivered.”

According to The Herald, Stephenson will meet with WSU President Elson Floyd today in Olympia, along with Snohomish County lawmakers. They'll tout the University Center of North Puget Sound site (at Everett CC) as a potential WSU branch.

 

The Tide is High - Very High

Puget Sound will witness extreme high tides throughout the weekend and into Monday morning, some as high as 13 feet. Tides two to five feet above normal are called "King" tides. The Olympian features an in-depth piece about the affect on South Sound waters. Reporter John Dodge writes that state officials are asking you to be a witness:

“These very high tides are like a window into our future,” said Ecology director Ted Sturdevant. “As sea level rises in the years to come, many of our shorelines – including those in our most populated areas – are very likely to be affected.” To make this point clear to the public, Ecology officials are urging people to visit their community shorelines and waterfronts this weekend to see the influence of the high tides for themselves. They’re also asking folks to take photos of the high tides and send them to Ecology to help identify areas most vulnerable to tidal flooding.

If you have a "king tide" photo to share, you can share them with Ecology's Flickr site, and with KPLU, at photos@kplu.org.

 

 

Husky Men Reclaim Pac 1o Lead

 

Washington dismantled #25 Arizona at Hec Ed last night, 85-68. The victory puts the 20th ranked Huskies in sole possession of first place in the Pac 1o conference, with a 6-1 league record, and 14-4 overall. Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and 10 assists for Washington. 

Bob Sherwin at Sportspress Northwest writes Arizona Coach Sean Miller had high praise for Thomas after the game:

“Thomas really makes that team better. I have a hard time imagining that there are five better point guards in the country than Isaiah Thomas.”

Washington faces Arizona State on Saturday in Seattle, in a Hec Ed renamed "Alaska Airlines Arena at Hed Edmundson Pavilion." The Seattle Times reports the deal means $700,000 in cash and sponsorships for the UW over the next five years, in return for naming rights during that time. Bank of America Arena is no more, with that agreement having expired last year.