You are currently viewing all posts written by The Associated Press.
December 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM
State officials say they’re suspending a hotline set up for reporting marine debris because it hasn’t been getting calls.
The hotline was set up so beach-goers and others could report potentially dangerous or tsunami-related marine debris that turned up on Washington’s shorelines.
Officials plan to take the hotline 1-855-WACOAST offline at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.
State official Terry Egan says the state hasn’t had a major marine incident in nearly a year, and the overall amount of debris found on beaches has also decreased.
People can still report hazardous marine debris such as gas cans and oil drums to another hotline, 1-800-OILS-911.
Those who find non-hazardous marine debris that is suspected from the 2011 Japan tsunami can email DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.
December 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM
LONGVIEW — Sheriff’s officers in two southwest Washington counties have suspended search efforts for a 26-year-old Japanese hiker last seen near Mount St. Helens.
Cowlitz County Undersheriff Marc Gilchrist said Wednesday that aerial and ground searches and investigations by Cowlitz and Skamania county officers have found no trace of Yosuke Onishi. Hikers in the area have not reported seeing him.
Gilchrist says the man’s mother and sister flew to Portland late last week from Japan and drove with an interpreter to Cougar, Cowlitz County, where they talked to deputies.
Onishi is from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.
Gilchrist says deputies would still like to locate a couple who gave Onishi a ride to where he was dropped off near the mountain. The owners of a Cougar deli say the couple drove a gray or light brown passenger car on the morning of Nov. 27. Onishi has not been seen since then.
December 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM
VANCOUVER, Wash. — The infant daughter of Washington state U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is back home in Camas this week after spending months under the supervision of doctors in California.
Herrera Beutler’s first child, Abigail Rose Beutler, was born prematurely in July with Potter’s Syndrome, a kidney and lung condition that’s typically fatal. She received dialysis treatments at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., and will eventually need a kidney transplant.
The Columbian reported Wednesday that Herrera Beutler is asking for “continued patience and prayers in the coming weeks as our family adjusts to life back home.”
The Republican congresswoman, who has been on leave since her daughter’s birth, also announced she would travel to Washington, D.C., to vote on a federal budget deal. She had previously returned to take some votes, including one in October to end the partial government shutdown.
December 10, 2013 at 8:16 PM
TACOMA — The Pierce County fire marshal says a fire that killed a father and his 8-year-old daughter at their Fox Island home appears to have been an accident.
The News Tribune reports that Fire Marshal Warner Webb made that comment Tuesday.
He says investigators expect to know more Wednesday about the exact cause of the Dec. 4 blaze that killed Dr. Thomas Babson, 62, and his daughter, Alice.
Babson’s wife, June, their 12-year-old daughter Katie, and 8-year-old son Tobey survived the fire. Alice was Tobey’s twin.
Fire officials have said the blaze started near the kitchen and dining room of the nearly 7,000-square-foot home.
December 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM
PUYALLUP — A man is dead after being hit by a passenger train in Puyallup. BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the crash occurred about 9 p.m. Sunday in Puyallup.
He said a northbound Amtrak train struck an adult male pedestrian.
Officials are investigating and Melonas said no further details on the accident or the victim were available.
The accident occurred on a BNSF mainline running between Portland and Seattle.
Melonas says that the tracks were shut down for a few hours after the crash.
December 5, 2013 at 9:25 PM
KENNEWICK — An Amber Alert was issued Thursday afternoon for a 14-year-old girl last seen leaving her school and getting into her boyfriend’s green Ford Escape SUV.
The Tri-City Herald reports that police believe Elizabeth Romero could be in danger. She is believed to be with 19-year-old Edwardo Flores Rosales.
Police say the girl’s mother contacted them Wednesday afternoon after her daughter did not return from school. Sgt. Ken Lattin says the girl was last seen getting into her boyfriend’s vehicle about 11 a.m. Wednesday at Phoenix High School.
Officers say the girl’s mother received a text message Thursday from an unknown phone number from someone claiming to be Elizabeth and saying she was headed to Mexico with her boyfriend.
December 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM
LOON LAKE, Stevens County — Stevens County deputies are searching for a missing Tacoma woman who hasn’t returned home after a Thanksgiving holiday weekend stay at a cabin on Loon Lake in northeast Washington.
KHQ-TV reports that deputies were asked Monday to conduct a welfare check on 51-year-old Susan Yager.
Deputies say witnesses told them the woman was seen in a canoe over the weekend. They later found a canoe floating in the lake.
Marine deputies and dive team members searched the lake Tuesday.
The sheriff’s office says the search for Yager will continue.
December 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM
PORT ORCHARD — The staff at a Port Orchard bar will be sharing a $5,000 tip left by an anonymous customer.
The Kitsap Sun reports the 11 employees who worked the late shift at MoonDogs, Too on Friday will share the gratuity left that night by the man. Restaurant owner Darryl Baldwin said the transaction from the man’s American Express account was credited to the bar Tuesday morning. Baldwin and bar manager Tracy Nickerson were waiting to distribute the windfall until the credit was verified.
The customer — under the handle @tipsforjesus — has been giving similar big tips over the past couple of months from Chicago to Los Angeles. His tab at MoonDogs totaled $576.50.
The stranger’s drink of choice was Maker’s Mark bourbon, and he ordered a round of Fireball (a cinnamon-flavored whiskey) for everyone. Nickerson says he had to scramble to find enough shot glasses for the crowd of about 100.
December 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM
The Associated Press
HONOLULU — A kayak fisherman from Washington state died Monday after a shark attack off Maui, local officials said.
Maui County Ocean Safety officials received a report that a shark attacked a man fishing in a kayak between Maui and Molokini, a small island less than 3 miles off the southwest coast of Maui that’s popular for diving and snorkeling.
Maui County police identified the man as Patrick Briney, 57, of Stevenson, Wash.
The shark bit his dangling foot while he fished with artificial lures to attract baitfish, a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said.
His fishing partner in another kayak tied a tourniquet on the man and sought help from a nearby charter tour boat. The boat took them to shore, and the man was then taken to a hospital, the state said.
The kind of shark involved was not immediately available.
Though the attack happened far from shore, the state advised the public to stay out of the water a mile north and a mile south of Makena State Recreation Area in southwest Maui.
There have been eight shark attacks near Maui this year and 13 statewide. On Friday, a woman suffered nonfatal injuries in a Maui attack.
“We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui,” said department Chairman William Aila Jr. “That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights.”
Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year, the state said.
In August, a German tourist died a week after losing her arm in a shark attack. Jana Lutteropp, 20, was snorkeling up to 100 yards off a beach in southwest Maui when the shark bit off her right arm.
Before Lutteropp’s death, the last shark attack fatality in Hawaii was in 2004, when a tiger shark bit Willis McInnis’ leg while he was surfing in Maui.
Isaac Brumaghim knows firsthand the dangers of kayak fishing, which he said is growing in popularity. He was fishing off Oahu’s west coast in April when a camera mounted on his kayak captured footage of a 9-foot shark jumping up and chomping on the tuna he was reeling in.
Sharks are “an absolute danger, every single day,” he said. “You have to respect the fact they can bite you at any time.”
He said bait in the water can easily attract the animal.
“Just a little bit of blood, a little meat in the water, that’s all you need,” he said. “It’s like dogs out there.”
Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa.
November 14, 2013 at 7:50 PM
BREMERTON — Kitsap County prosecutors are charging a 29-year-old Bremerton man with bludgeoning his stepfather to death.
The Kitsap Sun reports Jason Anthony Salas was charged with first-degree murder Thursday and is being held on a $2 million bail in the killing of Gillbert Sayama Sablan.
Charging papers say Salas killed Sablan with a crowbar in front of five children inside their home. Sablan then took the children to a relative’s home and said he’d done “something wrong.” Those family members called police.
Detectives say Sablan didn’t explain his motive other than saying Wednesday was a “good day” to kill his stepfather, with whom he never got along.
It was the first homicide in Bremerton since February 2012, The Kitsap Sun reports.
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