Law

Privatizing liquor
4:45 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Private sales of liquor in Washington thrown into limbo, distillers too

Judge's ruling could nullify the entire measure privatizing sales of liquor.
The Associated Press

A judge’s ruling on Friday has thrown the privatization of liquor sales in Washington into question and landed the state’s craft distillers in a state of limbo.

A Cowlitz County judge on Friday upheld most of an initiative that requires the state to get out of the liquor business, but called for a trial to determine whether a provision for public safety funding violated rules for initiatives to address only one subject.

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Gangs
4:40 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Tacoma gangs recruit middle schoolers

Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood, where 31 men were arrested for gang activity in a police sweep in 2010. A new gang assessment survey shows middle school kids are targeted for recruitment in Tacoma.
KPLU Photo

Kids start joining gangs in middle school, according to a year long assessment of gang activity in Tacoma. The  gang assessment report was presented to the Tacoma City Council on Tuesday.

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Liquor laws
1:50 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Initiative kicks in: Bars, restaurants can buy liquor from distillers

Washington bars and restaurants will be allowed to buy liquor directly from distilleries beginning Thursday.

The change stems from a voter-approved initiative to privatize liquor sales and dismantle Washington's state-run liquor system, which was formed in the 1930s in the aftermath of Prohibition.

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Social Security fraud
4:51 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Family guilty of decades long disability fraud

Four members of a Renton family have pleaded guilty to fraud for pretending to be disabled and collecting more than $350,000 in Social Security and Washington state disability benefits.  The scheme to defraud the government went on for 30 years.

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School shooting
9:06 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Wounded Bremerton girl upgraded: serious condition

The 8-year-old girl who was wounded in a Bremerton classroom was upgraded overnight at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

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Washington State Legislature
5:04 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Wash. House passes bill pressuring sex ad sellers

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Legislature has passed a bill going after classified advertising companies that don't demand ID before allowing sex-related ads to be posted online. The measure is primarily targeted at Backpage.com.

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John T. Williams
11:52 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Update: John T. Williams totem pole raised

Roughly 90 people carried a totem honoring slain First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams from the Seattle Waterfront to Seattle Center on Sunday.
Erin Hennessey KPLU

A 34-foot totem pole honoring slain First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams was carried from the Seattle Waterfront to Seattle Center and raised by some 90 people on Sunday. The pole was carried to its final destination with traditional singing, drumming, and dancing. 

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Law
9:42 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Democratic lawmakers seek to overturn supermajority for taxes

Washington voters consistently send Democratic majorities to the statehouse. But four times over the past 20 years they’ve also voted to require a supermajority of the legislature to raise taxes. Most recently, in 2010. Now a group of Democratic lawmakers and their allies are challenging the constitutionality of that two-thirds rule.

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School shooting
1:57 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

3rd grader shot; boy involved got gun during visit with mother

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — Authorities say a 9-year-old boy who brought a gun to a Washington state elementary school that went off and critically wounded a young classmate apparently got the weapon from his mother's house.

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Law
1:31 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Slain Bremerton trooper was a 16 year veteran of the State Patrol

Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu.

The Washington State Patrol says the trooper who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Port Orchard this morning was 44-year-old Tony Radulescu. 

Trooper Radulescu served with the State Patrol for 16 years and spent his career in the Bremerton area.

WSP Chief John R. Batiste says Radulescu was a humble public servant, "the kind of person everyone wanted to be around, including me."

Batiste says Radulescu was well known in the community for his many visits and presentations at public schools.

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Political crisis
7:11 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Standoff in Snohomish County: Executive asked to stand down, refuses

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon appears unmoved by a call for him to stand down.

As allegations mount that he has abused his public office, the County Council voted unanimously to request he take a voluntary leave of absence. 

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Washington State Legislature
9:27 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Revenue forecast up as tax idea loses steam

Governor Chris Gregoire is backing off her proposal for a half-penny sales tax increase. The shift comes after Thursday’s positive revenue forecast. It shows a nearly $100 million bump in state revenues.

Just a few days ago, Governor Gregoire was standing in the Senate wings surrounded by reporters. And she reiterated her support for a temporary sales tax increase to offset budget cuts.

“We’re in tough times," Gregoire said. "We need a little help from the public to get us through for the next three years until we get our feet on the ground again.”

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ID check
10:15 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Fake drivers licenses common; facial recognition fights back

New computer software has made it easier than ever to forge documents. But it’s also easier for investigators to sniff them out, because the photo on your license is like a fingerprint.

The Washington Department of Licensing has photos of more than five million Washington drivers. In 2010, they launched a pilot project, with a federal grant, to compare the faces in all those photos

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Crime
10:58 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Drunk drivers who kill could face stiffer sentences

Drunk drivers who cause deadly accidents in Washington rarely spend more than two years in prison. A bill working its way through the state legislature would increase the maximum sentence to eight years.

Prosecutors and people who've lost loved ones to accidents caused by drunk drivers say it's about time.

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U.S./Canada border
4:12 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Selling border security map nets man prison time

 A Bellingham man has been sentenced to prison for trying to sell a map showing the location of surveillance cameras along the U.S./Canada border.

According to federal court records,  Leif Rankin planned to sell the map to drug smugglers. 

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