Wednesday morning's headlines

Jan 5, 2011

Making headlines today:

  • Republicans give powerful post to Congressman Hastings
  • Former Sen. Gorton to help redraw political boundaries
  • Tacoma group wants to buy Rainiers
  • One state Mega Millions Winner

As Republicans get ready to hold the gavel in the US House today, the party has given a Washington congressman a more powerful voice. Rep. Doc Hastings of the Tri-Cities is the new chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. According to The Seattle Times:

That will make Hastings a key voice shaping federal policies on oil and gas drilling on public lands and offshore waters, mining, wildlife, fisheries, national parks and Native American affairs.

Hastings, of Central Washington's 4th District, won his ninth term in November. He wants the Arctic National Widlife Refuge in Alaska opened to gas and oil exploration, and is critical of President Obama for the ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP disaster.  


Slade Gorton Will Help Decide New 10th District Lines

The political players are now set, and work on redrawing the state's political geography begins soon. The mandate: forge the lines of the new 10th Congressional District, awarded to the state with the release of the new census results. They will also draw new boundaries for the state's 49 legislative districts.

Republicans have chosen former Senator Slade Gorton and Gig Harbor's Tom Huff, a former budget chair, to represent their party's interests. Democrats have tapped Tim Ceis, a former Seattle deputy mayor, and Dean Foster, who was once former Gov. Booth Gardner's chief of staff.  The Olympian reports what comes next:

These four will agree on a nonvoting chairman and use new Census numbers to divide the state into 49 legislative districts and 10 congressional districts. The state Legislature then can approve or reject the plan, but it can’t change it.

Gorton and Foster have previously served on redistricting committees.


New Owner for Tacoma Rainiers?

With a stadium remodel underway, the Tacoma Rainiers baseball club is also getting ready to welcome new owners.  The News Tribune reports a local group calling itself the Baseball Club of Tacoma met with city leaders on Monday, including Mayor Marilyn Strickland, to discuss their interest in buying the team from SDL Baseball Partners, the principal owners:

"The first question I asked was, 'Do you have any intention of moving the team out of Tacoma?' " she (Strickland) said. The immediate answer was " 'No, we don't,' " she added.

The Trib's Ryan Divish writes the potential sale is not expected to affect progress on the stadium remodel. The prospective ownership group is led by high-tech businessman Mikal Thomsen, a Curtis High grad.

The group has entered into a preliminary letter of intent to purchase the team, a Triple A league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.


Northwest Winners Take Second-Largest Mega Millions

The $355 million Mega Million multi-state lotto jackpot will be split by lucky winners in Washington and Idaho. KIRO-TV reports:

The Washington winner was sold at a Safeway store in Ephrata, outside of Moses Lake ... The Washington Lottery confirmed that six additional tickets matched four "white ball" numbers and the Mega Ball to win $10,000.


Mega Million is played in 41 states and the District of Columbia. 

If you're holding a ticket, check out these winning numbers: 04 08 15 25 47 ... and the Mega Ball is 42.