Thursday morning's headlines

Apr 21, 2011

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:


  • Still snowing in Washington mountains
  • U.W. Tacoma Names New Chancellor
  • Children's Hospital Nurse That Gave Lethal Dose Commits Suicide
  • No Security Changes for Governor After Cop Killer Attends Bill Signing


April Snow Falls in Washington Cascades and Foothills

It still looks like winter in the mountains - and some foothills - in Washington.

State Transportation Department cameras show snow falling Thursday morning at Snoqualmie and Stevens passes. As of 8 a.m. traction tires were advised for motorists crossing Stevens Pass (U.S. Highway 2).

The National Weather Service says wet snow is possible through the morning in parts of the Western Washington lowlands along with cold rain showers.

Forecasters expect warmer weather and a sunbreak on Friday and Saturday with cool, shower weather returning by early next week across the state.


UW Tacoma gets new chancellor from ASU, a UW alum

The new chancellor of the University of Washington Tacoma campus is a vice president at Arizona State University and a UW alum.

UW President Phyllis Wise on Wednesday announced the selection of Debra Friedman as chancellor of UW Tacoma, effective July 1. The appointment has to be approved by the university's regents.

Friedman has been the dean of ASU's College of Public Programs and professor of public affairs since 2005. Since 2008, she also as served as university vice president, responsible for the university's Downtown Phoenix campus.

Friedman told the News Tribune’s Debbie Cafazzo she sees parallels between the downtown college campuses in Phoenix and Tacoma.

“Part of the draw to UW Tacoma was the incredible special relationship between the university and its community.”

She said the downtown Phoenix campus of ASU, like the UWT campus, was born from a desire to revitalize a city’s central core.

“Phoenix, like Tacoma, had a blighted downtown,” she said. The university there became a downtown “anchor tenant.  Once a university sinks its roots, it doesn’t leave."

 She earned her master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington in sociology and worked at UW from 1994 to 2005.


Seattle Children's: Nurse's Suicide Hits Family and Friends

The nurse who accidentally killed an infant with an overdose of medication has reportedly committed suicide.

Kimberly Hiatt, 50,  mistakenly gave the baby girl ten times the amount of medication she needed, and the girl died.

The hospital said it was a simple miscalculation.

Children's was cleared of any wrong-doing, but the nurse was still under investigation.

KOMO reports the nurse committed suicide April 3, and the state investigation has been closed.

Just before her death, Hiatt had taken an advanced cardiac life-support certification exam to qualify for a job as a helicopter transport nurse and aced it, friends told the Seattle Times. But she had been unable to land a job in the field and friends began to despair that she would ever find another nursing job.

Family friend Donna Lawson told the Seattle Times:

"She was basically a healer. She told me she lost everything."

The little girl's death prompted the hospital to review its medication procedures, and it ordered a complete overhaul of its training.


Gregoire unfazed that cop killer attended signing

Governor Chris Gregoire says she's not changing any security procedures after discovering that a biker who shot and killed a Portland  police officer decades ago showed up at a recent bill signing.

Robert Christopher was convicted of killing officer David Crowther during a drug raid in 1979, but he was released about two years later due to police misconduct in his case. As KPLU's Austin Jenkins has reported, he was among a group of bikers who stood near Gregoire on April 13 as she signed a bill prohibiting law enforcement from profiling motorcyclists for sporting club colors or logos.

The governor says she did not invite the bikers or know who they were, but she says she's aware that some law enforcement officials are upset that Christopher was present. She says bill signings are open to the public and that's how it should be.