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May 20, 2013 at 4:41 PM
UPDATE 5:02 P.M.| The Coast Guard says the fire hasn’t injured anyone and is under control. The fishing boat crew was able to get the fire under control before Coast Guard teams arrived by using a chemical firefighting system, according to Coast Guard spokesman Nathan Littlejohn.
Littlejohn said it doesn’t look like the Arctic Storm is going to sink, but its 120-member crew will soon be transferred to a sister vessel. The Arctic Storm will be towed to Aberdeen.
The Arctic Storm is operated by Seattle-based Arctic Storm Management Group. The company’s website says its crews fish for Pacific Whiting off the coast of Washington and Oregon from the end of May through early June.
The Coast Guard is on its way to rescue about 120 people on a fishing boat burning 32 miles west of Grays Harbor.
Crew on the 314-foot Arctic Storm vessel reported an uncontrollable engine room fire at about 3:20 p.m., according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has sent out rescue teams in two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Astoria and three 47-foot motor lifeboats.
The Coast Guard has issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to alert other boaters in the area of the Arctic Storm.
We’ll update this as more information becomes available.
May 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM
The state fined seven moving companies in Washington Wednesday for operating without permits to provide residential moving services.
Most or all of the $5,000 fines for six of those companies will be suspended for two years and perhaps waived if proper permits are obtained, according to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC).
But the state says it will not suspend the fine for one Seattle-based company, Jeff’s Express Movers, because its owner, Jeffrey Johnson, failed to appear in court. Several one-star reviews for the company on Yelp reveal angry customers who felt lied to by the company because they say it did incomplete moving jobs or claimed customers had reserved a truck for longer than the customer requested. Many of those reviewers said they would make sure the state knew about the way the company handled business with them.
“They sent me to the level of anger I had not thought possible,” said one reviewer, who described herself as a Buddhist who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.
The other companies fined by the state include:
- A Father and Fast, Careful Sons Moving, owned by David J. Campbell, of Auburn
- Mark’s Pro Movers, owned by Mark Schueller, of Tulalip
- Professional Relocations Moving Co., owned by Wade Taylor, of Bremerton
- Smoother Mover, owned by Matthew Twiggs, of Richland
- Big Earl’s Moving and Hauling, owned by Thomas E. Harris, of Shoreline
- Advanced Moving and Packing, owned by Justin Suedel, of Seattle
The Washington commission that fined the companies says those looking to hire a moving company should verify the mover’s permit, compare costs with at least two estimates, and check online reviews. Moving-company customers should always get a written, signed inventory list from the company of all belongings being loaded as well.
May 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM
A Utah police department’s search at an Oregon farm for Susan Cox Powell, a mother who’s been missing and suspected dead since 2009, has turned up nothing.
The West Valley City Police Department hasn’t said why its detectives started searching the large farm in Scotts Mills, about 20 miles northeast of Salem. But Powell’s father, Chuck Cox, told the Associated Press that police had been searching the area for two days because it has ties to the Powell family.
The area searched is so wide that the lawyer for Powell’s estate, Anne Bremner, said that volunteers and cadaver dogs were needed to assist.
The investigation of Powell’s disappearance has focused on her husband, Josh Powell, who killed himself and the couple’s two young children in February 2012, and on her father-in-law, Steven Powell.
May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM
A man accused of beating 16-year-old Tyler Parker to death on a Covington roadside Saturday has been charged with second-degree murder.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says Robert Thomas “Bobby” Green of Covington has a clear history of alcohol abuse and is being held at King County Jail on $1 million bail. Green’s previous violations include breaking a protection order in 2008 and, as a juvenile, fourth-degree assault and possession of stolen property.
Green told King County Sheriff”s detectives that he and a friend had been drinking before they saw Parker near their home in the 19400 block of Southeast 267th Street early Saturday morning, and that he thought Parker was a prowler. The two then approached Parker, who had been intoxicated himself that day, according to detectives.
Earlier that morning, Parker had been hostile with Sheriff’s deputies and identified himself as a gang member with clothing that supported the claim, court papers say. The deputies dropped Parker off at a relative’s house, but Parker apparently left that house soon after and walked toward Green’s home.
Green said that Parker identified himself as a cocaine dealer whose gang controlled Green’s block, according to court documents. After Parker made threatening statements close to Green’s face, the documents say Green knocked Parker down and started beating him. Green continued the beating long after Parker was unconscious, according to a witness who said he tried to stop Green.
“I didn’t know Bobby was going to freak out on him,” the witness said, according to court documents.
Even after Green dragged Parker’s body about three houses away, fearing retaliation from Parker’s gang, court papers say, the witness had to keep Green from continuing to beat Parker. Green and the witness said Parker was breathing when they left him, according to the papers, but when they came back and poured beer on his face to wake him up, they realized he was dead.
After someone tipped law enforcement about Green and the beating, Green told detectives that he had beaten others severely in the past as well, according to court papers.
“You get hit a few times, you fall, you know, you wake up,” Green said to detectives, according to the papers. “You get up, you live to fight another, another, another, another, another day.”
But that obviously wasn’t true for Parker, who was found crumpled with blood streaked behind him and stomping marks on his face that matched shoes detectives found in Green’s home, court papers say. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Parker died of head trauma.
May 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM
The 69-year-old woman who was fatally struck by a pickup in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood Tuesday was identified today as Surinderpaul Basra.
Basra, an employee at the Essential Baking Company cafe in Georgetown, was crossing First Avenue South around 3 p.m. yesterday when a Chevrolet pickup turning left from South Findlay Street struck her. Medics took her to Harborview Medical Center, where she died soon after of blunt force injuries to the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
After Seattle Police Department detectives evaluated the 56-year-old driver who hit Basra, it was determined he was not under the influence at the time of the accident.
A small memorial has been set up for Basra at the accident scene, where friends and family have talked about what a loving and dedicated person she was, according to an employee at nearby Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack. Friends spoke of her as someone who loved her job at the bakery so much she never took vacation time.
Seattle police detectives are still investigating the accident.
May 14, 2013 at 3:54 PM
UPDATE, 7:20 p.m. | Police determined that the driver was not driving under the influence and released him pending further investigation.
EARLIER POST | Police say a 69-year-old woman was fatally injured when a Chevrolet pickup struck her in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood this afternoon.
Medics responding to the accident at the intersection of First Avenue South and South Findlay Street took the woman to Harborview Medical Center while administering ongoing CPR, said Seattle Fire spokesman Kyle Moore. The Seattle Police Department has since reported that she did not survive.
The Police Department’s initial investigation shows that the victim was crossing First Avenue South from west to east near the stop-sign intersection when a 56-year-old man turned left onto the same street and hit her.
Customers and employees of Pig Iron BBQ and Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack rushed to the woman’s aid when the accident happened in front of the businesses. Waitress Geneva Butler said the woman was bleeding and not moving after the accident.
Employees at one of the businesses said the woman worked at a nearby Essential Baking Company cafe, which closed early today after the accident.
A drug-recognition expert from the Seattle Police Department is on the scene investigating the accident along with other traffic collision detectives.
May 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM
A blue Honda driven by a 20-year-old woman is barely recognizable after it collided with a flat-bed tow truck and a black sedan in Burien Monday afternoon.
The driver was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition along with her passenger, her 3-year-old child, who suffered a broken leg, said King County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West.
West said the man driving the black sedan spoke to law enforcement and then was driven by a friend to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. The tow-truck driver was unharmed.
It’s hard to tell what happened at the intersection of South 128th Street and Eighth Avenue South or who was at fault, West said, because crash investigators have had conflicting reports from witnesses about what happened. Detectives will be studying the intersection for a couple more hours before it opens again.
“It’s a pretty messy scene and it’s going to take a while to piece it together,” West said.
May 13, 2013 at 3:57 PM
UPDATE 5:20 P.M.| A tree has fallen down on the southbound Interstate 5 just north of Northeast 145th Street, blocking two right lanes according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Seattle City Light hasn’t reported many outages, but power lines have also been downed in Seattle.
A tree that fell and caught power lines around 5 p.m. left live wires hanging 10 feet off the ground at Northeast 125th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast in North Seattle, according to the Ravenna Blog.
Trees have gone down in and around West Seattle as well, according to the West Seattle Blog.
Meanwhile, Puget Sound Energy says 22,338 of its customers are without power in 288 locations.
UPDATE 4:55 P.M.| The woman trapped in her car was able to get out after Puget Sound Energy workers made sure the lines on her car were not live, according to college spokesperson Vickie Sheehan. Workers are now trying to remove the tree that landed on five cars.
A thunderstorm rolling through the Puget Sound area this afternoon downed trees and power lines, including some that trapped a woman in her vehicle at Green River Community College in Auburn. Classes there have been canceled for the remainder of the day.
A tree that landed on five vehicles in the college parking lot also took down power lines that landed on 20 vehicles around 2 p.m., trapping one woman, according to college spokesperson Vickie Sheehan. She said the woman is uninjured, but has had to stay put in the car until Puget Sound Energy workers make sure none of the wires on her car are live.
“A big gust of wind came here and we heard three pops that we thought were transformers blowing,” Sheehan said. When college officials saw the scene in the parking lot and that power had been knocked out to the entire campus, they canceled all classes for the day to focus on rescuing the trapped woman and freeing damaged vehicles under the fallen tree. Touching a puddle or piece of metal electrified by a live power line can be immediately fatal.
“They are still are on the scene cutting power at both ends to make sure they can take her out safely,” Sheehan said of utility workers at about 3:30 p.m.. “They’re taking all precautions.”
Downed trees and power outages were reported in several other areas including North Bend, Freeland, Bainbridge Island and Puyallup. In Edgewood, a tree came down on a house, according to East Pierce Fire & Rescue.
Though weather calmed down in the late afternoon, more rain and a chance of thunderstorms is still on its way tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
May 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM
Seattle police detectives are looking for whoever is responsible for two arsons at South Seattle businesses Wednesday night.
The first started just after 8 p.m. when someone set a pile of wood on fire outside a glass shop at Rainier Avenue South and South 22nd Street, causing at least $30,000 in damage, according to the Seattle Police Department.
While firefighters put out that blaze, another fire was set in a Burger King dumpster two blocks away at Rainier Avenue South and South Hill Street.
Police said that by the time firefighters arrived there, the restaurant manager had already put out the fire, which kept it from seriously damaging the building.
Police ask anyone who thinks they saw something suspicious in the area last night to call 911.
May 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM
A pickup crashed through the plate-glass window of a post office in a West Seattle shopping center this afternoon, prompting evacuation of the building.
Only one person was injured when a blue Dodge Ram 1500 burst through the window at Westwood Village on Southwest Trenton Street.
Lidiya Van Valkenberg, 40, of Burien walked away with a few bruises and cuts from shards of glass. Van Valkenberg said she was facing away from the window when all of a sudden she felt an explosion of glass knock her to the ground. Then something else, possibly a shelf of postcards, slammed down on top of her.
“First thing I did was I looked around, and the truck was still pushing and cracking into the building,” Van Valkenberg said. “People employed from the post office started screaming at (the driver) to turn off the engine.”
When the engine was turned off, Van Valkenberg said, she saw a male driver with crutches come out of the pickup. She said she thought the man was disabled and had driven into the building by accident.
“He apologized to me many times – he was so worried,” Van Valkenberg said.
Only two other customers were in the office at the time of the crash, but all 36 people in the building were evacuated until the Seattle Fire Department deemed the rest of the office structurally sound.
Van Valkenberg said she cried a little at the scene when she realized how close she had come to being seriously injured or killed.
“I’ve always wondered what people feel like after something like this when I see it on the news — the feeling is not good,” Van Valkenberg said from her Burien home. “But I am glad I’m alive. And now I think I’m going to go drink a beer.”
Our news partners at WestSeattleBlog.com have more here.Lidiya Van Valkenberg, 40, of Burien, recalls the scene from inside the post office when the pickup truck crashed into the building.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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