Wednesday morning's headlines

Mar 16, 2011

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Going Back to College Could Get More Expensive
  • Higher Ed Bills Drawing Fresh Faces to Olympia
  • Arson Attempt at Olympia Police Station
  • Sounders Drop MLS Opener


Bill Would Hike Fees For College Returnees

If you plan to go back to college you could end up paying a lot more in tuition. A budget-saving proposal in Olympia would apply to people who already have a degree and then go for extra training at a community college, reports The Seattle Times' Queenie Wong:

SB5868 would require students with a bachelor's degree who attend a community or technical college to bear the entire cost of instruction - the price of regular tuition plus the share that the state pays.

That means it could affect current university students who take extra time and credits to get their degree.  State Senator Rodney Tom of Bellevue tells Wong that during a tight economy, government has to prioritize. It’s important to help students attend college, he says, but not for extra training.


College Students Lobby Against Cuts

This bill and other controversial legislation to reform higher education are changing the face of lobbyists at the state capitol: they're getting younger. The Seattle Times' Katherine Long reports students are taking a front row seat as lobbyists to ensure their voice is heard as higher education takes some big budget hits:

"When budget cuts hit, we're going to be bearing the brunt of the blow," said Evan Smith, a UW sophomore who has traveled to Olympia seven times this year, and testified before both House and Senate higher-education committees.

Long reports that among the bills of highest interest are those that would give more authority to colleges to set tuition rates, a measure supported by the institutions. That authority currently belongs to lawmakers. Some higher education cuts could be offset by tuition hikes, lawmakers say. But for many students struggling with college costs, such increases can put college out of reach. 


Small Fire at Olympia Police Facility

An Olympia police substation has been hit twice now by attempted arson. KIRO-TV reports the Olympia site suffered some minor damage in the early morning blaze that burned near the back of its facility after fire was set near a rear door. 

On March 5, someone broke a large window at the station and damaged two parked patrol cars. One of the cars had all of its windows smashed, the second had three busted out.

Olympia Police Thurston County Crime Stoppers are looking for information and tips from the public.


Soccer Season Opener Loss for Sounders

The L.A. Galaxy left Qwest Field Tuesday evening with a 1-o victory in tightly played match, Major League Soccer's season opener. Sportspress Northwest's Stanley Holmes reports the Galaxy have the Sounders' number: five wins in two seasons:

“Obviously for us that’s disappointing right now,” Coach Sigi Schmid said. “Sometimes you just have a boogey team, you know, a team that just, for some reason, it just doesn’t work for you.  And right now, they’re that team for us.”

Shortly before the match the Sounders announced the departure of forward Blaise Nkufo, a top scorer in Holland's first division. Holmes reports the decision to leave was "mutual," according to coach Schmid.