News Roundup
7:58 am
Mon January 24, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

Making headlines this morning:

  • Investigation Begins into Port Orchard Shootings
  • King County's 'Brightwater' Grinds Toward Completion
  • All Aboard: Amtrak Ridership Gains in Northwest

Port Orchard Shooting Investigation

The Washington State Patrol will take the lead on investigation into the shootings that left two people dead and two police officers wounded outside a Port Orchard Walmart store on Sunday.  The Kitsap Sun reports a man opened fire on Kitsap County Sheriff deputies after they approached him in the parking lot of the store.  After a volley of bullets, the suspect was shot, and a young woman, possibly in her teens, was also killed:

Two witnesses who saw the shooting said the woman ran up to the man after he was shot while he was still standing. He then fell and died on the scene. She also was shot and was pronounced dead at Tacoma General Hospital.

Detectives say they believe the man and woman knew each other, though it's not clear who shot the her. The deputies are in satisfactory condition and expected to recover. There were a number of witnesses to the shooting. Someone at the store had called police after reporting a suspicious man with a gun in the store parking lot. 

 

King County's Brightwater Grinding To Completion

A 13-mile tunnel that will carry treated sewage from King County's Brightwater facility to Puget Sound is plying the soil through its toughest section, near Lake Forest Park. The Seattle Times' Keith Ervin reports progress on the tunnel is churning toward completion after delays, and one broken boring machine:

With less than a mile and a half of digging left to go, county officials say they're confident in the contractor, even though its machine is an unusual type for the job and a prior contractor abandoned its damaged machine far underground.

The broken tunnel borer is the subject of a lawsuit with a previous contractor. Meanwhile, work on the tunnel could be completed by September, which means the plant could be fully operational by July 2012, more than a year delayed.

 

Amtrak Cascades Ridership at Record High

More people are taking the trains that connect Vancouver, B.C., and Seattle to points in Oregon. The Herald of Everett's Amy Daybert reports the increased ridership on the Amtrak Cascades line occurred despite multiple service delays due to mudslides over the tracks during the rainy end to 2010:

Too much road congestion, the high price of gas, airline restrictions and a comfortable ride to cities between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore., are all reasons more people rode Amtrak Cascades last year than ever before, (an Amtrak spokeswoman) said. 

Overall, passenger numbers were up 10% from 2009, for a total of some 838,000 passengers. Daybert writes some of the bump can be attributed to the Vancouver/Whistler Olympic Games. But the final quarter of 2010 also saw the highest service levels in 1994.