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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 21, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Morning Memo/Tuesday: Gas prices up … Inflatable avalanche backpack

Weather:  Wet. Rain is forecast for today and the next six days. Bummer. Who knows, that may change with a forecast that far out. We heard KING5 say there could be sun breaks tomorrow. At least that’s what we hope we heard … The National Weather Service forecasts.

Whoa! Gas prices have jumped. You probably heard or read that the fire at the BP refinery at Ferndale would cause a bump in gasoline prices. Well, something caused  a BIG one. Could be the Iran situation. The average cost for a gallon in the state it $3.64, up 11 cents in just a week, according to AAA of Washington. It’s also 7 cents higher than the national average. In Seattle-Bellevue-Everett: $3.73. Fill ‘er up, Joe. Well, maybe not so much.

The inflatable backpack carried by the young woman who survived the avalanche at Stevens Pass is a remarkable invention. They apparently don’t come cheap. We found them costing in the $650 to $750 range. But if you’re going to ski out of bounds or in the back-country… Along with our story about skiing in risky places, The New York Times also has a story that says the number of avalanches is on the rise, but back-country skiers are willing to take the risks involved.

Woodland Park shooting: We’re working on getting the condition and identity of the man shot in Woodland Park yesterday.

They tell us this is a winter wren, which is known for its full-throated, complex song. This fellow appears to be telling others of his kind that this is his land and stand clear... sorta. The photo was taken by Seattle Times staff photographer Alan Berner in Seattle's Discovery Park in Magnolia.

Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:

  1. Four dead in avalanches at Stevens and Snoqualmie passes
  2. Deaths reflect boom in backcountry skiing
  3. City waits nearly 11 hours to fix broken traffic light
  4. It’s a logjam at third for Mariners; is Kyle Seager the odd man out?
  5. Huskies’ Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten in no-lose situation, but here’s how they win | Jerry Brewer

Comments | Topics: backpack, gas prices, Morning Memo

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