Monday morning's headlines

Jun 27, 2011

More of the same: mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

Washington state abandons all tourism marketing

Washington state is shuttering its official tourism office next week and cutting all funding for self-promotion. It will be the only state in the nation to take such a drastic step.

The transition is the most extreme example of the widely varying strategies among states trying to balance budget cuts with ways to spur economic growth.

Some are pouring millions of dollars into fresh marketing, while others like New York and Arizona are slashing their promotional spending to help shore up state budgets.

Michigan recently launched an $11 million national advertising campaign. Officials there believe they can get $3 in tax revenue back for every dollar they spend on marketing.

Off the AP wire: Gas prices fall; mountain rescue, and more

  • The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.83. That's down 4 cents in a week and 12 cents in a month, but it's 26 cents higher than the national average.
  • The Skagit County sheriff's office is investigating the fatal beating of a man from Concrete. The 54-year-old was taken to a hospital in Sedro-Woolley early yesterday and was transferred to a hospital in Bellingham where he died. The Washington State Patrol is helping with the investigation.
  • The King County Sheriff's Office says it sent a search-and-rescue helicopter after a woman was injured in a fall near Snoqualmie Pass. The woman was about eight miles up the Denny Creek Trailhead near Melakwa Lake. A companion called 911 a little before 2:30 p.m. yesterday to report the fall. The extent of her injuries was not immediately clear. No other details were available.
  • A Washington state man has died in a crash on Interstate 80 in the Nebraska Panhandle. The state patrol says a 51-year-old Vancouver, Wash., man lost control of his motorcycle Saturday night as it slid into the median and rolled.
  • Montana authorities say they've recovered the body of a 68-year-old Yakima, Wash., woman who disappeared after her boat capsized on the Smith River. The Meagher County Sheriff's Office says the body of Mary Patricia Plochowietz was recovered Saturday from a remote section of the river.

New rules for state crab harvest

Recreational crab fishermen in Puget Sound are being awarded a bigger share of the state’s harvest under new rules.

After five years of trying, they’ve been granted a fixed season that begins Friday and runs through Labor Day, with no quotas for total take. The Kitsap Sun reports that could increase the recreational harvest of Dungeness crabs by 40 percent.

Meanwhile, the nontribal commercial fishery for the crabs won’t begin until Oct. 1 and will be limited to whatever is left of the nontribal quota. Commercial harvesters could see their share of that quota drop from 67 percent to about 50 percent.

Popular sculpture park on Chehalis trail to close

Citing health and financial concerns, artist, sculptor and park owner Myrna Orsini will close the Monarch Sculpture Park on the Chehalis Western Trail along Waldrick Road for good July 23. Various artworks and sculptures have adorned the trail side since 1998.

“If I can’t keep the park maintained properly, I don’t feel comfortable having the public on the grounds,” Orsini said. “The grounds look dumpy after this winter. No one has complained, but when the weeds are higher than the plants, something is wrong.”

Orsini also said she can no longer afford the liability insurance necessary to protect the park. It marks the end of a grand plan that evolved into an inviting and peaceful setting for artists and art lovers.

Spelling bee set for seniors in Everett

It's time for people 50 and older to start brushing off their dictionaries, The Everett Herald says.

An adult spelling bee will take place Thursday at the Carl Gipson Senior Center of Everett. This is the second year the center has run a spelling bee, reporting the first year as a success.

The center decided to try organizing an adult bee after someone slipped the idea for the bee into the center's suggestion box.

Last year's winner, Loretta Troupe, then 89, won with the word "Stehekin," an isolated town in Washington's Cascade Range. This year's theme is food and other words surrounding the preparation of food.