You are currently viewing all posts written by Lisa Cowan.
November 27, 2013 at 2:41 PM
It’s not the holiday season in Seattle until the Space Needle tree lights up.
Made up of 1,200 lights and perched 560 feet above the ground (600 at the top), the tree will illuminate the skyline through New Year’s, according to the Space Needle website.
This video from Manuel Valdes of The Associated Press features the crew installing the lights. “We prefer cold over wet,” a technician says.
September 27, 2013 at 9:56 AM
The Associated Press
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — A Bainbridge Island restaurant manager has been charged with voyeurism after authorities said he hid a camera in a bathroom.
The Kitsap Sun reports that Scott Fuchs was arrested and charged this week. The newspaper says Fuchs was previously charged with voyeurism under similar circumstances in 2007 while he worked at a Bremerton golf range. That case was dropped after key evidence was dismissed.
In the current case, authorities say a Doc’s Marina Grill employee discovered a smartphone concealed in a bathroom. The phone was recording video at the time.
Authorities say the recording occurred in an employee bathroom. Bainbridge Police Chief Matt Hamner says detectives do not have evidence of Fuchs filming other workers.
September 27, 2013 at 9:38 AM
Skagit Valley Herald
MOUNT VERNON — Nathan Vasquez was sentenced Thursday to 12½ years in prison for assaulting two Skagit Valley Food Co-op employees with a knife.
Vasquez, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault as part of a plea deal that dropped one count down from first-degree assault and dropped a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.
He was arrested Jan. 27 after confronting, yelling at and charging two Co-op employees who were taking out the garbage. A police report described him as “belligerent.”
Vasquez swiped the knife at one of the Co-op employees, scratching his abdomen, according to the report. The other employee fended him off and Vasquez eventually left, but police caught up with him on the Second Street Viaduct, where he threw the knife over the bridge, a Mount Vernon police spokeswoman said at the time.
The Co-op employee who was injured did not need immediate medical attention.
Police used a Taser to subdue Vasquez, who refused to cooperate with police and told them to just shoot him, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case.
“That night, I was looking to die,” he told Judge Michael Rickert in court Thursday.
Vasquez has a long history of methamphetamine-induced psychosis and a variety of mental-health diagnoses, said his defense lawyer, Wes Richards. Vasquez was under the influence at the time of the Co-op incident, Richards said.
“You’re a poster child for what methamphetamine can do,” Rickert told Vasquez, noting his extensive criminal history. “You’re lucky you’re still alive.”
Both Co-op employees were in court Thursday for Vasquez’s sentencing. One addressed the court, saying he was glad it didn’t happen to an older, frailer employee. He also said he has had to explain to his 7-year-old son that “Dad isn’t going to get hurt or stabbed just going to work.”
Vasquez apologized to the victims in court, saying he would not come after them and “that weight’s off your chest.”
Vasquez was convicted in 2004 of second-degree kidnapping, one of 15 prior felony convictions on his record. Prosecutor Erik Pedersen said his conduct has escalated.
This is Vasquez’s second strike under Washington’s “three strikes” law for serious felony offenses. A third strike would mean prison for life.
Vasquez said he is a United States citizen but has family in Mexico and plans to move near them when he is released.
September 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM
PORTLAND (AP) — Investigators say they don’t know exactly what caused a house fire that killed five people Sunday in Eastern Oregon, but it wasn’t arson caused by an accelerant or an accident in a drug lab.
It appears the fire began on the front porch, Pendleton police Chief Stuart Roberts said Tuesday. There was some thought it started in a can of cigarette butts, but investigators couldn’t verify that, he said.
Investigators from local, state and federal agencies spent the day at the gutted two-story house on Monday, he said. They had a dog trained to sniff out accelerants such as gasoline.
“There was no accelerant detected in or around the residence,” Roberts said. Nor was there evidence of illegal activity such as a methamphetamine lab or hashish production.
The five victims are believed to be a man, a woman and three young children. Police haven’t released their names. Autopsies are expected to begin Tuesday.
Roberts said police believe they know who the victims are, but there are obstacles to making positive identifications: It’s difficult to ask family members to identify remains in such cases, and DNA tests could mean a lengthy process of gathering samples from relatives and getting lab tests done.
Two people survived: Kay Williams, 27, and David Erickstaed, 46. They were hospitalized in serious condition.
Roberts says their names appear on the rental agreement for the house, they appear to be in-laws, but officers haven’t pinpointed their relationship. They have been taken off breathing tubes and officers plan to follow up on initial interviews with them.
September 24, 2013 at 7:51 AM
SPOKANE (AP) — A Spokane judge has decided that a man with an IQ of about 60 is competent to stand trial in a fatal stabbing.
Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno ruled Tuesday that 18-year-old Avondre Graham is capable of understanding court proceedings and helping his lawyers.
The Spokesman-Review reports that on Monday prosecutors urged Moreno to go ahead with the criminal case, while defense attorneys wanted her to set it aside.
Graham is charged with second-degree murder in the September 2012 stabbing of 55-year-old Sharlotte McGill as she walked her dog along a trail. Graham lived at the same apartment complex as McGill.
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.
Trending with readers