Thursday morning's headlines

May 19, 2011

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

The Seattle Times reports ten board members left after clashing with the organization’s executive director over financial record keeping.  That left the board with only six remaining members.  The former board members haven't accused the executive director of wrongdoing, but say a fight broke out after they suspected “sloppy bookkeeping.”

The Times' Sara Jean Green reports that the heart of the conflict appears to be a leadership clash between Myrle Carner, the founder of Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound and current executive director Cynthia Tobias.

An independent accountant recently determined that all the money was accounted for at the nonprofit.

 

Down to the Wire in Olympia: Pols Seek Compromise in Workers' Compensation Law

Leading state lawmakers are struggling to find a compromise that would alter Washington's workers' compensation program and help seal a budget agreement.

Negotiators emerged from a 45-minute meeting behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon with little progress to report. It was the first gathering of a small group tasked with finding common ground.

The meeting comes just a week before Washington's 30-day special session is set to end.

Sen. Janea Holmquist-Newbry, the Moses Lake Republican representative in the negotiations, told The Olympian newspaper she wasn’t any more optimistic after the meeting that a deal can be reached.

“I still have a glimmer of hope that we can reach some sort of resolution and take a step forward this session,” she said. “It’s not going to be what I want necessarily, though.”

The Senate has approved a plan that includes an option of lump-sum settlements with workers who receive benefits for a prolonged period. It's something Governor Chris Gregoire and many House members also support.

But House leadership has said it is not interested in allowing settlements because it could lead workers to accept fewer benefits than they would be entitled to get.

 

State Agents Capture Bear Near Bothell Schools

Washington Fish and Wildlife agents have captured a young black bear that was wandering near schools in Bothell.

 KIRO-TV reports that agents had shot a tranquilizer at the bear earlier Wednesday, but still managed to get away. So, tracking dogs were sent behind the bear, which was found up in a tree.

Wildlife Sergeant Kim Chandler says agents waited for the bear to come down to shot it with another tranquilizer. The bear then went to sleep and was captured.

The bear's presence prompted a lockdown at two schools earlier in the day.

 

Ex-Pierce Co. Sheriff Wants to Clear Record of Child Porn Conviction

Retired Pierce County Sheriff Mark French, who was convicted of possessing child pornography, will ask a judge Friday to erase the felony from his record and restore his right to possess firearms.

The News Tribune reports state law allows some offenders who meet conditions of their sentence to regain their gun rights and to have their sentence vacated. French's lawyer says he qualifies.

The 62-year-old French pleaded guilty in 2004 to possessing child pornography. He had retired in 2000 after a 30-year career in law enforcement.