Law

Immigrant Licenses
8:17 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Legislature considers two-tier driver's license system

A two-tier driver's license system is getting traction in the legislature. This is how it would work: applicants who provide a valid social security number would get a regular license. Drivers who can't prove they are in this country legally would get an alternative version.

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Green River killer
5:02 pm
Fri February 18, 2011

Family of Becky Marrero speak out about serial murderer Ridgway

Mary Marrero right, the sister of Green River Killer victim Becky Marrero, reads a statement in court as her mother, Rebecca Marrero, left, wipes her eyes, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent., Wash.
AP

It was an emotional scene in a King County courtroom as the man known as the Green River killer pleaded guilty to his 49th murder.  Gary Ridgway is already serving 48 consecutive life terms. The latest plea is for murdering Becky Marrero in 1982, whose remains were found last December.

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STATE LAW
1:14 pm
Thu February 17, 2011

Some Washington cities looking to nip pot dispensaries in the bud

Dale Rogers displays different types of marijuana available at the Compassion in Action Patient Network, an organization that distributes medical marijuana to qualifying patients in June 2007 in Seattle. Rogers has been diagnosed with AIDS about 20 years.
Andrei Pungovschi AP

You can't walk into a store and legally buy marijuana in Washington for medical or any other purposes. Yet. But some cities in the state - anticipating that you soon might be able to - have placed a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries and another is considering one. And the shops aren't even lawful. Yet.

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Liquor Laws
8:10 am
Thu February 17, 2011

Despite initiative defeat, Costco still pushing liquor privatization

A shopper holds up a bottle of wine from a large selection at a Costco warehouse store.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Voters defeated not one, but two liquor privatization measures last fall -- one of them sponsored by Costco. But a key lawmaker says that's not stopping the Issaquah warehouse chain from continuing to push the issue in Olympia.

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JOHN T. WILLIAMS SHOOTING
8:26 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Angry protesters demand justice for slain woodcarver

Anwar Peace was one of several hundred people gathered to honor John T. Williams and express their dismay that the police officer who killed him on a Seattle street last summer will not face criminal charges.
Paula Wissel KPLU News

Sage smoke, prayers and the beat of Native drums filled the air at Seattle City Hall Wednesday afternoon as several hundred people gathered to demand justice for woodcarver John T. Williams. Williams, a member of the Nuu-Chah-Nuulth First Nation in British Columbia, was shot to death last Aug. 30th by a Seattle police officer.

The demonstrators moved on to Westlake Park.  Later, several dozen marched to the crosswalk at Boren St. and Howell St. where Williams was killed by Officer Ian Birk.

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John T. Williams Shooting
4:34 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Seattle police officer Ian Birk resigns after report finds fault

The Seattle police officer who fatally shot a woodcarver on a downtown street last summer has resigned.

Chief John Diaz says Officer Ian Birk resigned as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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JOHN T. WILLIAMS SHOOTING
2:12 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Woodcarver fatal shooting not justified, says Seattle Police board

Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer announces the findings of a Seattle Police Department review of the fatal shooting last summer of John T. Williams by Officer Ian Birk.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

The shooting death of a Native American woodcarver by a Seattle police officer last summer was not justified. That’s the finding announced by the police department’s Firearms Review Board today. 

The review found Officer Ian Birk took actions that were "outside of policy, tactics and training."

The case is “among the most egregious failings that I’ve seen in my thirty years with the Seattle Police Department,” said the board chairman, Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer.

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PUBLIC LANDS
1:33 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Bill would charge fee to access state recreation sites

Day use of one of Washington's 119 state parks, such as Moran State Park on Orcas Island would cost $10 or $30 annually under a proposed bill.
HeatherL Flickr

First the state Senate, now the House. Either way, it’ll cost you ten bucks to visit a Washington State Park for the day if the legislature passes measures now being considered in Olympia.

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Jayme Biendl murder
4:23 pm
Fri February 11, 2011

Monroe inmate confesses to killing guard Jayme Biendl

Convicted rapist Byron Scherf has admitted killing Monroe Reformatory corrections officer Jayme Biendl, according to a search warrant released Friday.
AP

Byron Scherf, a convicted rapist already serving a life sentence has confessed to the killing of Monroe Reformatory guard Jayme Biendl.

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Washington State Legislature
8:05 am
Fri February 11, 2011

One month down, lots of work ahead on budget

Supporters of pre-K programs in Washington rally on the steps of the statehouse in opposition to proposed budget cuts.
Austin Jenkins N3

Washington's legislature has hit the one-month mark. Budget writers say a deal is close at hand between the House and Senate to re-balance the current two-year spending plan. After that, attention will shift to the closing a multi-billion dollar shortfall in the next two-year budget.

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Anacortes Explosion
6:05 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Suit filed over deaths at Tesoro Refinery

A security truck outside the Tesoro Refinery on March Point in Anacortes, WA, on Friday, April 2, 2010.
AP

The families of six Tesoro Corporation refinery workers killed in an explosion at an Anacortes site last April have filed a wrongful-death suit against the company Wednesday. 

The Seattle Times' Jim Brunner reports the suit alleges Tesoro was negligent in addressing the conditions that resulted in the blast, which killed seven people. In addition to the six families, a contractor injured in the explosion has also joined the suit.

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Washington Legislature
7:47 am
Wed February 9, 2011

Treasurer, lawmakers seek constitutional amendment on pensions

A bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers proposes a constitutional amendment to require pension payments.
Austin Jenkins N3

Washington's pension system is underfunded to the tune of nearly $7 billion. Now the State Treasurer and a bipartisan group of lawmakers say the time has come to force the legislature to pay the pension bill.

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Death in the Line of Duty
5:51 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Murdered corrections officer remembered for courage, commitment and compassion

An honor guard stands before the flag-draped casket bearing the body of Corrections Officer Jayme Lee Biendl during a memorial service held Tuesday at Comcast Arena in Everett. Biendl's family sits in the front row.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

Several thousand mourners, many of them uniformed law  enforcement officers, gathered in Everett Tuesday to pay tribute to Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl.

Biendl was killed January 29th while on duty at the state prison in Monroe. She was the first corrections officer killed in a Washington prison in over 30 years.

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Gary Ridgway Charged
7:41 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

New murder charge filed against "Green River Killer"

An undated photo of Becky Marrero, who disappeared near Sea-Tac in 1982. The man dubbed the "Green River killer" is now charged with her murder.
King County Prosecutor's Office


The man known as the "Green River Killer" has been charged with another murder. Gary Ridgway is already serving a life sentence for killing 48 women. He's considered one of the nation's most prolific serial killers.


On Monday, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced aggravated first-degree murder charges against Gary Ridgway in the death of Rebecca "Becky" Marrero, who disappeared after leaving a motel in SeaTac in 1982.


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Lakewood Police Shootings
3:16 pm
Mon February 7, 2011

Newly released records reveal more about Maurice Clemmons, investigation into police murders

Lakewood Police on alert following the November 2009 shootings of four fellow officers at a Parkland area coffee shop.
AP

A batch of documents released by the Pierce County Sheriff late last week reveal more about the man who killed four Lakewood Police officers in a Parkland coffee shop in late 2009. More than 2,000 pages provide added details about Maurice Clemmons, his family and the investigation into the murders.


The documents were released following a long legal dispute between Pierce County and a number of news organizations, including The News Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Associated Press and three Seattle television stations: KIRO, KOMO and KING. 

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