State Farm Insurance is clearing out of Tacoma by the end of the year, the company said Thursday, meaning some 1,400 jobs will leave the city's downtown as local leaders name attracting employers as a top priority.
Joel’s Law allows families in Washington state to petition a court to involuntarily commit a mentally ill loved one. In Pierce County, home to Tacoma, nearly 100 percent of petitions are granted, but in Seattle’s King County, most are rejected.
Pierce County lawmakers this week voted down a sales tax that would have raised an estimated $10 million for mental health and substance abuse programs.
The South Sound county will remain the only one of Washington's densely-populated counties without the 1/10 of 1 percent sales tax for mental health. Twenty-two of Washington's 39 counties have the tax, along with the city of Tacoma.
Pierce County leaders are exploring a way to save more farmland from the development sweeping the Puget Sound region. But they risk upsetting some key stakeholders: the farmers.
Every county in Washington has to decide which farms count as "agricultural resource land" -- basically farmland that can't be developed.
No county has stricter criteria, or less farmland preserved in this way, than Pierce County. It boasts some of the nation's best soils, but about two-thirds of its farmland has disappeared since 1950 as the county's population nearly tripled.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said the county needs to pass a special sales tax increase to pay for mental health services and that a lack of treatment options for people with mental health problems is contributing to rising homelessness.
Pierce County will step onto the national stage when it hosts one of the country’s premiere sporting events. In June, the U.S.Open golf championship will be held at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.
It will be the first time in the event’s history that it will take place in the Pacific Northwest. The first ever U.S. Open was held in 1895.
It’s taking longer for Pierce County to bounce back from the recession than counties to the north, such as King and Snohomish. But economists at Pacific Lutheran University expect the economy in Tacoma and the region to show some improvement this year.
PLU economists Martin Wurm and Neal Johnson have been crunching the numbers on everything from Pierce County’s housing market to retail sales to come up with an economic forecast.
Bus riders in Pierce County face dramatic cuts to service if voters reject a ballot proposition to hike the sales tax. Opponents are fighting hard against the measure, saying it would make Pierce County’s sales tax the highest on the West Coast.
If you ask people in downtown Tacoma how they feel about paying more in sales tax, you hear a common refrain.
"The sales tax is pretty high as it is, and I think it will be hard for people to swallow," said Michele Anderson.
If you see an unusually low-flying helicopter cruising above Seattle or Bellevue, don't worry. It’s just a project of the State Department of Health to measure naturally occurring radiation in King and Pierce Counties.
Update: On Monday, May 9, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners approved a 20% permanent service reduction scheduled to start June 12. But the board rejected the proposed plan for the final 15% reduction scheduled for October, and instead directed staff to develop a modified plan that focuses on maximizing ridership.
The next time you're stuck in traffic, frustrated by the length of your commute time, take a moment to consider how long your trip would be if you couldn't drive to your workplace, your doctors office, or your church.
Making headlines this morning around the Northwest:
Where's Spring? Snow Falls in Lowlands, Mountains
Farewell to State's Last Polling Places
Seattle Settlement Over Domestic Violence Cases
Hey, it's April 6th!
Brrr. It's chilly at sea level, and if you live in the Cascade or Olympic foothills there's a good chance you've seen some snow flakes fall, as Snohomish County has this morning. Mountain passes are getting a new dumping of snow, as April marches on.
A Pierce County dog trainer is fielding heaps of praise for saving the life of Sugar, a 4-year old boxer. The animal collapsed during a training class Saturday. Ron Pace said when he saw the animal fall, his instincts took over, according to the News Tribune's Sara Schilling:
Pace, 54, who owns Canyon Crest K9 Training Center in the Summit/Waller Road area, used a version of CPR to get Sugar breathing again...
It took about two minutes of steady massage to the dogs chest, and a couple of breaths into the animal's mouth, to help bring Sugar around, to the delight and relief of the dog's owner, Tiffany Kauth of Bremerton.