Wednesday morning's headlines

Dec 1, 2010

Thousands to lose jobless benefits, Tacoma finds limits to saving Old City Hall, and today is World AIDS Day.

 

Unemployment Benefits End for 100,000 in Washington

With no further extensions from Congress, nearly 2 million Americans are out of jobless benefits. More than 100,000 of those are in our state. Some have already been cut off. Others will be getting notification letters this week letting them know when their emergency aid expires. State employment security spokeswoman Sheryl Hutchinson tells KPLU News:

"This recession has lasted a long time.  People have been running out for months now.  And currently, it's about 27,000 people in our state who could not find a job before they ran out of benefits.  We know that number is going to grow much faster in the weeks ahead," said Hutchinson.

Close to 1,000 people in the state exhaust their benefits each week. The official number of those unemployed here is about 230,000.

 

City Power Limited to Intervene in Tacoma's Old City Hall

In a follow-up to a feature story Tuesday, the News Tribune reports Tacoma city manager Eric Anderson says there's very little that can be done to intervene in preserving Old City Hall. The icon suffered damage after a water pipe break sent a 30,000 gallon flood through the 117-year old building. 

"We just can't go into a (private) building and clean it up without an immediate public danger," said Anderson.

Councilman David Boe says the recent water damage is highly threatening to a building of its age. Old City Hall is owned by a Seattle-based group, and is under the threat of foreclosure. A plan to turn the building into condos has not been successful.

 

Inquest Date in Woodcarver's Death

An inquest will look into the fatal shooting of a native woodcarver in January. Seattle police officer Ian Birk shot and killed John T. Williams last August on a downtown Seattle street. Birk says Williams failed to respond to commands to drop a knife he was holding. Witnesses say Williams was not acting in a threatening way, and his family says their brother was deaf in one ear. KOMO-TV reports the inquest begins January 10th. 

World AIDS Day Marked Here

December 1st is the day the world health and HIV prevention leaders talk about progress in fighting AIDS. In Seattle, a thousand people are expected to gather at the Washington State Convention Center to mark the day, and support four organizations working to prevent HIV and support those who live with the disease.

As KING-TV reports, one of the organizations, Dunshee House, an AIDS support group, got a nasty surprise as leaders prepared for the event: they got robbed.

 The estimated loss for the burglary is $10,000-$15,000. The charity says no private or personal information was stolen.

Dunshee House had planned to be part of two fundraising events today. The Capitol Hill Blog reports the theft happened late Monday or early Tuesday morning.

More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981, according to statistics compiled by Avert, an international HIV/AIDS charity. More than half of the world's population living with HIV in 2009 were women.

Elsewhere, Tom Paulson reports in the Humanosphere blog that health officials worry about a spike in HIV transmissions in Haiti, as conditions there since the January earthquake make a resurgence more likely, according to the Pulitzer Center.