Thursday morning's headlines

Jul 7, 2011

Back to the familiar: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

Old brewery building burns in Tacoma

A two-alarm fire early Thursday burned the old Heidelberg brewery building in Tacoma.

The fire department said the building was vacant and set for destruction. No one was injured.

Spokesman Joe Meinecke told The News Tribune the alarm came in just before midnight Wednesday and it went to two alarms after midnight to keep flames away from a storage building for Pierce County Toys for Tots.

Off the AP wire: Boy's heart restarted; bodies pulled from river

  • Twenty-seven people have been treated for fireworks-related injuries at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center between Saturday and noon yesterday.
  • Authorities say a 25-year-old California woman has been found dead from an apparent drug overdose at the Rainbow Family Gathering in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
  • Police say three bodies have been found in a car pulled from the Spokane River and authorities are investigating if they're those of three missing Bhutanese refugees. Police say they initially searched the area after a missing persons report was filed, but the river was about 4 feet higher at the time.
  • The funeral for the Battle Ground police officer who drowned in the Columbia River will be held tomorrow in Battle Ground. The 41-year-old officer was off duty Sunday when he jumped from a boat near Vancouver and was overcome by the current.
  • CPR restarted the heart of a boy who was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool at an apartment complex in Kent. The fire department says medics took the boy to a hospital yesterday afternoon, but the boy's condition is unknown.
  • Dozens of state government workers have been given layoff notices as Washington agencies begin to implement budget cuts at the start of a new fiscal year.
  • Police confiscated 5 pounds of cocaine and 10 pounds of tobacco that someone tried to smuggle into the Airway Heights prison by throwing it over the fence. Police Chief Lee Bennett says officers secured the area in minutes.

Bremerton council defeats car tab fee

A measure to add $20 for road repairs to Bremerton residents' vehicle license fees failed to pass the Bremerton City Council by a one-vote margin Wednesday night, the Kitsap Sun reports.

The council, operating as the city's Transportation Benefit District, reconvened after its regular meeting to consider the fee increase that would have raised approximately $460,000 a year

Councilman Adam Brockus said the city's lack of funding for roads was a cumulative result of Initiative 695 of a decade ago, which eliminated the motor vehicle excise tax, replacing it with a flat fee. Brockus approved of the use of REET funds for roads, but he noted the $20 car tab fee would "barely make a dent" in the city's road repair workload, so he could not support reducing it further.

Bremerton residents shot down a proposal for a $30 car tab fee increase in 2009.

Huge development plan nixed in Snohomish land sale

Dave Barnett once appeared steadfast in his plans to build a mini-city with thousands of homes near tranquil Lake Roesiger, reports the Everett Herald.

Now that the state and Snohomish County have bought Barnett's timber holdings for a future public park, the would-be developer sounds relieved, grateful, even happy. The land sale closed Tuesday.

"It's especially exciting because it's a deal where everybody wins," Barnett said. "The county can have magnificent parks, the state can have forestland, the bank gets paid, and I can go on vacation."