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July 22, 2013 at 7:15 AM
The Associated Press
UPDATE 1:01 p.m. | Police followed tips overnight but were still searching Monday for a Washington state man wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.
Investigators are talking to people who may know Trevor Braymiller, 25, and asking the public for tips, Sedro-Woolley Police Chief Doug Wood said
Police don’t know if he’s still in the area, about 70 miles north of Seattle.
Detectives are waiting for results of the autopsy on Monday to learn more about how the boy died Sunday, and they can’t say yet whether it may have been an accident, Wood said.
The gun they believe was used was found Sunday by a Washington State Patrol explosives-sniffing dog under the stairs of a church about a half-block from the house where the child was shot that morning, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.
No shell casing was found at the scene, but there is one in the gun, indicating that the gun misfired and didn’t eject the shell. Lt. Lin Tucker said.
People at the house indicated the boy shot himself, but investigators suspect a homicide and Braymiller fled.
Police were told he went to the nearby church. A friend gave Braymiller a ride to the Big Lake community, about 5 miles south of Sedro-Woolley. The friend went to police after learning the child was dead.
Braymiller, a felon convicted of selling drugs, is not supposed to have a gun, police said. The house is well known to police, and officers conducted a drug raid there in 2011. Police have seized firearms from Braymiller in the past.
No one in the house saw the shooting, Tucker said. Also in the house at the time was the boy’s mother, a couple, another young man and a girl about 2 years old who was parented by the mother and Braymiller.
“We’re getting a lot of input from citizens saying they would like to find this guy and beat him up,” Tucker told the newspaper. “We would rather they not turn our suspect into a victim.”
Sunday night post: | A 4-year-old Sedro-Woolley boy is dead from a gunshot wound, and a man suspected in his homicide went on the run Sunday morning, according to police.
The suspect, Trevor Braymiller, 25, is the mother’s boyfriend. Neither she nor the boy was identified Sunday by authorities.
The mother and another child were in the home at the time of the shooting but did not witness it, said Police Chief Doug Wood. The boy was taken to Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, where he was pronounced dead.
According to police, several people called 911 at 7:05 a.m. to report the shooting in the 1000 block of Township Street. A short time later, Braymiller got a ride from the residence and was dropped off in the Big Lake area of Skagit County, according to Wood.
By afternoon, police had recovered the handgun believed to have been used in the shooting. A search dog found the gun near a small church less than a block from the residence, after police got a tip.
Wood said it is not known whether Braymiller has weapons. He was recently released after a drug conviction, and as a felon is not allowed to possess a firearm.
“I would consider him dangerous,” Wood said. “He fled the scene and he’s probably desperate.”
Aaron Spoelstra, who lives across the street from the house, said Braymiller came back to the neighborhood about a month ago. Braymiller apparently looked after his 1-year-old daughter while his girlfriend worked, he said.
“He was a cute little guy,” Spoelstra said of the 4-year-old. “I used to watch him ride his little tricycle.”
Spoelstra said he was contacted by Braymiller’s mother, who said she feared the manhunt wasn’t “going to end well.”
Initially, police believed the boy accidentally shot himself in the head, but after his body was examined they determined the gunshot was not self-inflicted.
Braymiller is described as white, 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds with brown hair and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a red or orange T-shirt.
“We certainly would like to talk to him and get his side of the story if there’s anything else to it,” Wood said.
July 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Lou Guzzo, a longtime fixture of city life in Washington, died Saturday at age 94.
He was a man with at least three full careers. He was a journalist, spending two decades as an arts and entertainment writer at The Seattle Times, and later moving on to become managing editor of the Seattle P-I.
Next, he went into politics, serving as an adviser to Gov. Dixy Lee Ray, with whom he also co-authored a book, “Environmental Overkill: Whatever Happened to Common Sense?”
After his stint in Olympia, he became a commentator on KIRO television and radio, where he took on an elder statesman role and mentored some of the station’s top on-air personalities.
“He was of retirement age when he came to KIRO,” recalled former anchor Susan Hutchison. “Which was a wonderful thing. I found it really admirable that he didn’t just hang up his track shoes and say, ‘I’ve run my last race.’”
Son Richard Guzzo says his father kept writing on a nearly daily basis even after his retirement, until his eyesight got too poor to continue.
As a commentator, his opinions were sometimes controversial. And he never fell into predictability.
“He took every topic and thought about it on a case-by-case basis,” said KIRO reporter Amy Clancy. “I don’t think you could peg him.”
“He was a visionary,” daughter Diane Guzzo Shepp said.
Mr. Guzzo is survived by his wife of 70 years, Madeleine Guzzo, as well as daughters Judy Knight and Lynne Bishop.
May 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM
For years, it’s been clear that the state has had a big problem with derelict vessels — the hundreds of ramshackle and/or abandoned boats that dot our waterways.
Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation addressing some parts of the problem. The new law (ESHB 1245) establishes a permanent (if relatively small) funding stream for the state’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program through a small surcharge on boat registrations; gives the Department of Ecology authority to board troubled boats; makes registration-related offenses a civil infraction; and requires owners of vessels older than 40 years and longer than 65 feet to obtain a vessel inspection before transferring ownership.
The legislation had broad public and bipartisan support (thanks, perhaps, to messy and expensive incidents in the Columbia River and on Penn Cove.) But one thing isn’t going to change: A rusty old boat is still an expensive proposition.
March 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM
A massive landslide damaged one home and threatened many more in Coupeville on Whidbey Island this morning.
Seventeen homes were isolated by the 400- to 500-yard slide, eight of them occupied, said Island County Sheriff Mark Brown.
“The road’s been cut off, the power’s been cut off and the water’s been cut off to the homes on the beach,” he said.
There have been no reported injuries directly related to the slide, although one resident was taken to the hospital for unrelated issues. That man’s home was knocked off its foundation and pushed several hundred feet toward the water, said Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin. He was able to get out of the home but soon found that the road to safety was cut off. Emergency personnel wound up taking him out by ATV, gaining access to the area via Steve Ballmer’s property, to the south of the slide.
Driftwood Way, the epicenter of the slide, is home to a mix of full-time residents, second homes and vacation rentals.
It will be “closed for the foreseeable future,” Hartin said. “We’re talking about a huge, huge section of road that’s completely gone.”
Residents and vacationers continue to be evacuated.
Neighbors are said to have heard what sounded like thunder about 4:15 a.m, KING-TV is reporting. Those living in threatened homes could be seen this morning walking to the edge of the slide.
Dick Caldwell, who lives not far from the slide, went over this morning to take a peek. It looked like “chaos,” he said. “It’s just a jumble of trees and dirt and all sorts of shrubs and things.”
Slides are not uncommon in this area; there was a 100-yard slide in January.
“It’s what happens when you live on the edge,” Caldwell said. After 26 years in his home, he said there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
KOMO TV reported that a relief center for people displaced by the slides has been set up at a nearby community center.
Meanwhile, the county is awaiting the arrival of a contract engineer to assess whether any of those evacuated will be allowed to return to their homes.
Click here for more photos of the slides.
March 5, 2013 at 11:18 AM
The U.S. Department of Education is conducting an investigation into discrimination at Seattle Public Schools.
The investigation, which began in May, centers on disparate use of discipline against minority kids, according to a written statement from Jim Bradshaw, a spokesman for the federal agency. The aim of the investigation is to “assess whether the district discriminates against African American students by disciplining them more frequently and more harshly than similarly-situated white students,” he wrote. The agency does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations, he noted.
School District Superintendent Jose Banda said the school district is cooperating with the investigation, which he learned about within the past several weeks, althought it was initiated by the Department of Educaiton last May.
Banda said he thinks the federal “compliance review” will show disproportionate rates of discipline — common to big-city schools — and said “we will work with them to devise an action plan that addresses that.”
Stephanie Alter Jones, a parent and community organizer in Southeast Seattle, said that while she wasn’t aware of the investigation, discipline has been a topic of much debate lately.
“I think it’s getting some traction now,” she said, noting that the kinds of discipline that take kids out of school altogether, like suspension and expulsion, are being discussed in the legislature.
Part of the issue is that the kids who are tossed from the classroom are often “the ones most in need of the education,” she said, adding that taking away learning opportunities for those kids is problematic — but so is leaving disruptive kids in the classroom.
“Right now the focus is on how do we maximize learning for all kids,” she said. “If we want to do that we can’t have kids of color … out of school.”
January 28, 2013 at 5:19 PM
The owner of an old Liberty ship that sank and spilled oil in the Columbia River during an illegal salvage operation will be fined $405,000 by the state Department of Ecology.
The spill prompted a 10-month cleanup and removal project, which cost taxpayers $22 million in federal funds. The state spent an additional $680,000 on the cleanup.
Bret A. Simpson and his company, Principle Metals LLC, was scrapping the 431-foot Davy Crockett on the Columbia between Camas and Vancouver, where it had been moored for years. In January 2011 authorities discovered it had cracked in half and partially sunk.
Last July Simpson pleaded guilty to two violations of the Clean Water Act.
Sentencing in federal court is set for March.
Simpson is responsible for reimbursing the state for its expenditures on the cleanup in addition to the fine.
“It’s possible we won’t receive the money, but he still needs to be held legally accountable for his actions,” said Linda Kent, a spokeswoman for Ecology.
The fine is among the larger penalties issued by Ecology in recent years.
The largest, a $7.5 million penalty, came after the 1999 Olympic pipeline explosion, which killed three people and sent a trail of fire through a Bellingham park.
January 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM
It’s official: Arson was the cause of a fire last Spring on a 140-foot boat unlawfully moored off Whidbey Island, according to a report by the King County Sheriff’s Office.
The Deep Sea, a rusted-out old fishing vessel, caught fire and sank to the bottom of Penn Cove early one Saturday in May. It cost the government nearly $5.4 million to clean up the mess and dispose of her. At the time, officials remarked that the vessel seemed to “spontaneously combust.”
Sheriff’s investigators recently determined the fire was intentionally set, but there are no suspects, according to Toni Droscher, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Natural Resources.
The boat had been left in the cove by its owner, a Maple Valley scrap dealer named Rory Westmoreland. The state had begun assessing fines for the illegal moorage, and considered towing it away before it sank.
Droscher said DNR sent Westmoreland a $1.3 million bill in an attempt to recoup expenses in the cleanup. However, the agency conceded that it’s unlikely to collect. It is also looking at possible criminal charges related to leaving a vessel derelict and abandoned, Droscher said.
Westmoreland had bought the boat just six months earlier for $2,500, after the Port of Seattle advertised it on Craigslist. He had planned to use it to retrieve garbage and abandoned nets from the sea. The plan never really got beyond the talking stage.
January 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM
Snow began falling early Wednesday evening in Everett and other areas around the Snohomish/King County border, but don’t expect a lot.
Earlier predictions of a possible 15 inches have been pared back, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. About 10 inches fell on Mount Baker today. Snoqualmie and Stevens passes — where it was snowing as of early evening — should get just 1 to 3 inches overnight. The Everett area could wake up to a dusting, as well.
The same thing is expected for the region on Thursday morning — light snow, with little accumulation. But by evening, the weather is expected to be dry.
Predicted highs in Seattle on Thursday and Friday will approach 40 degrees. Nighttime lows could dip down into the mid- to upper 20s.
The low temperatures, combined with moisture on the roads, could cause “some black ice and some headaches for people driving,” Burg added.
November 24, 2012 at 5:56 PM
A woman in her 70s died Saturday afternoon in a house fire in White Center, according to fire officials.
The fire, in the 9800 block of 28th Avenue Southwest, began in the woman’s living room and spread into the crawl space, said Burien Fire Lieutenant Ernie Brown.
A fire crew from Burien was dispatched to investigate a report of smoke coming from the house at 4:42 p.m.; firefighters from Seattle and North Highline joined them a short time later. They had it extinguished in about 15 minutes, Brown said.
“The crews did a pretty good job of getting into the crawl space, finding it, and putting it out,” Brown added.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The victim has not yet been identified.
September 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM
What, exactly, is in that toy your toddler likes to chew on?
The state Department of Ecology is trying to help answer that question — though the results can be less-than-satisfying.
A 2008 law that is now being phased-in requires manufacturers to file reports with the state on 66 toxic chemicals of concern contained in baby products. Products covered also include toys, cosmetics, and jewelry.
Ecology just posted the first batch of reports, from the largest manufacturers, on its website.
Parents can search by chemical name, by product type, or other parameters. What they can’t search by is the thing that would be most useful: names of actual baby products. Nor does the state offer any direction on which products parents should avoid. Ecology is calling it a first step.
“This program will daylight the supply chain by showing where toxic chemicals are found in children’s products,” said Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant. “If we identify risks in children’s products, this will enable us to do something about it.”
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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