Other News

Interesting news stories from around the Pacific Northwest.

AP

Rains expected to cause flooding, high-speed rail in Washington gets a windfall, lawmakers convene for a day. 

Washington's lawmakers will meet in special session on Saturday to start chopping away at a billion-dollar budget shortfall. The governor and legislative leaders emerged from a closed door meeting yesterday with a budget deal. 

The plan is for a one-day special session. Legislative leaders from both parties and Governor Chris Gregoire have agreed to an immediate round of fresh cuts. The goal is to reduce the current $1.1 billion budget shortfall by about half. 

Courtesy WSDOT

State transportation officials have announced the likely winner in the competition to build a tunnel to replace Seattle's aging Alaskan Way Viaduct.  The proposal comes from a consortium known as Seattle Tunnel Partners.  It has a slightly higher price, but offers other benefits. 

Flickr?ManuelW

King County says it now has a glut of jail space and must consider cutting the rate it charges to cities to house offenders.  That comes after years of dire warnings about jail over-crowding.  Cities in south King County are building a new jail (which opens next year) for $56 million in Des Moines. 

USS Nimitz
United States Navy

When the Everett-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln leaves the city in fiscal year 2012, it'll be replaced by another carrier, the USS Nimitz.  Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has been urging the Navy to assign another carrier to Naval Station Everett and made the announcement today after receiving the news from Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Courtest elksonbroadway.com

 Get ready for changes in health insurance for kids next week, a Tacoma historic preservation project takes shape, Bremerton welcomes the USS Nimitz, and a hospital lockdown in Mt. Vernon following a man's death.

AP

Thursday is a big day for the proposed deep-bore tunnel beneath downtown Seattle.  An underground highway is supposed to replace the elevated freeway along the waterfront. 

At 1 pm, Governor Chris Gregoire will unseal the dollar amounts attached to two bids submitted earlier this fall.  Then, Washington Department of Transportation staff will add up a total score, based on price and engineering details, and announce an apparent winner of the final construction contract. 

Lyn McCracken, Seattle City Light

A fallen tree knocked out power to Northgate Mall and 3,000 homes and business at noon today.    Power was restored to the mall and all but a handful of homes by 1 p.m.  You can track outages at City Light's system status website.

KING-TV

A man was shot by Seattle police near a bus stop at Third Avenue and Yesler Way around 10 p.m. Tuesday.  Police say the man, estimated to be in his late 30s, was about to grab a handgun out of his waistband when he was shot.  He's in serious condition in the intensive-care unit and is expected to survive, according to Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson.

Washington State Parks mismanaged contracts resulting in a “gross waste of public funds.” That’s the conclusion of an investigation prompted by a whistleblower into a project at a state marine park on Puget Sound.

WSDOT

The state will investigate Seattle police actions; a faster 520 for commuters; and bridge toll plan under fire.

Canoeing at Stehekin
National Park Service

Looking for an opportunity to get away from it all?  The National Park Service is taking bids on the contract to manage a 21-room lodge, restaurant and general store in Stehekin.  When they say it's remote, they aren't kidding; located at the end of Lake Chelan, the area is reachable only by boat, floatplane or on foot.  There's no TV, no cell phone service and just one pay phone.  

As King County makes massive cuts to help balance its budget, the union representing King County sheriff’s deputies has, for months, refused to consider a wage freeze next year.  Even as other unions in the county have agreed to do so.  But deputies are voting on a proposal to reduce their upcoming pay increase. 

AP (Audrey McEvoy)

Local vets remember Pearl Harbor attack; guilty verdicts for some accused of helping Maurice Clemmons avoid police; vandalism punctures more than car tires in Bremerton; and questions remain over how a dog was electrocuted on a Seattle sidewalk. 

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says she will call a special session of the legislature to address the ballooning budget crisis. The Democrat made the announcement Monday afternoon following a meeting with legislative leaders from both parties. 

AP

KPLU Staff update at 4:32 pm, Monday

The light are on again for more than 9,000 Orcas Power and Light customers in the San Juan Islands. A late morning outage was caused by a problem at a substation operated by the Bonneville Power Administration.

In a short statement from Orcas Power and Light's website:

 

Power has been restored to all members with the exception of scattered areas of San Juan Island. Outage was caused by equipment failure at the BPA transmission station. 

AP

Former Seattle Mariner general manager Pat Gillick has been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. Gillick won three World Series titles during his 27 years as general manager of Toronto, Baltimore, Seattle and Philadelphia.

Eyes turn to Olympia on eve of budget talks, Bellevue takes a hit, Pierce County plans protections against nature's hits,  and the Huskies fight their way to a Holiday. 

Washington lawmakers return to Olympia this week, but not for a special session. They're getting organized for the regular session in January. That will bring out advocates who plan to stage protests over looming budget cuts.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Across the Northwest food banks are seeing more customers than ever. Now, Washington’s Department of Agriculture is asking farmers to increase their produce donations to aid the state’s hungry.

queen of subtle / Flickr

It's that time of year when many of us give generously to charitable organizations.  But how do we know where the money is really going?  In some cases, more money goes into the pockets of professional fundraisers than to the charity itself.  

You can find out how your dollars are being spent at the Washington Secretary of State's office.  Just type in the organization's name, click the search button and you can see what percentage of dollars goes to charitable services...and how much goes to pay for fundraising.

Jason Ganwich /

It's a strong year for independent films – and for indie movies from the Pacific Northwest.  Four feature films that were shot in the Seattle area have been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival in January. 

"The Details" is a dark comedy  shot in Kirkland with a cast including star actors Laura Linney, Elizabeth Banks and Tobey McGuire.  It's in the line-up for the high-profile "Premieres" series. 

Courtesy of Mary Jaskolski.

It was national news when a Washington-based soldier just back from Afghanistan died in a shootout with police in Salt Lake City. That was in August. Around the same time another soldier from the same brigade also died violently. But his death didn’t get much notice. It happened on a dark two-lane road in rural Wisconsin.  

It's landslide season

Dec 3, 2010
Washington Department of Ecology

Forecasters have been warning of a wet and snowy La Niña winter in the Northwest.  More than five inches of precipitation fell at SeaTac airport last month.  Wet weather means an increased risk of landslides in the Puget Sound region.  Are you prepared?

The City of Seattle is holding a landslide awareness meeting.

When: Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Woodland Park Zoo via YouTube

Apple Cup weekend for football rivals, tough travel expected for game road-trippers,  and allegations of Army spying on an Olympia anti-war group lead today's news headlines.

 

Apple Cup in White

Snow covers the stands in Pullman today, but the field has been cleared in preparation for tomorrow's renewal of the rivalry between WSU and the UW. If the Huskies win, they'll finish the season at 6 and 6, and earn their first trip to a bowl game since 2002.  

Herald of Everett via YouTube

Maybe you don't ski or snowboard, or even particularly like the snow. But there's so much enjoyment from watching the beautiful images captured by Herald of Everett reporters on Wednesday.  It was opening day at Stevens Pass.

AP

Seattle will not be hosting World Cup matches in 2022.  The United States was up against four other countries to host the World Cup. But the bid has gone to the Middle Eastern country Qatar.  

AP (Elaine Thompson)

A new plan to deal with traffic-jamming snow and ice on the roads, A Fort Lewis-based soldier gets a court martial plea deal, no special session agreement - yet, and Grammy nods for Northwest bands.

About $5.3 million in monthly grants to community health clinics around the state will be suspended through June. Three dozen organizations representing 214 clinics will see the grants suspended beginning Jan. 1.

MultifaithWorks.org

Thousands to lose jobless benefits, Tacoma finds limits to saving Old City Hall, and today is World AIDS Day.

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