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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Category: General news

The latest news curated from around Puget Sound.

July 28, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Chism Beach in Bellevue closed to swimming after sewage overflow

The swimming area at Chism Beach Park in Bellevue is closed until further notice after sewer overflow was found near the park, according to the Bellevue Parks & Community Services Department. Public Health Seattle & King County recommended the closure after quickly identifying a small amount of overflow found near the beach,  located at 9600 S.E. 11th…

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: sewage overflow

July 28, 2014 at 6:16 PM

SPD Chief O’Toole announces top staff appointments

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole today announced her first major appointment to her top staff. In a posting on a department website, O’Toole wrote: “I am pleased to announce that I have added Mike Wagers to my staff as SPD’s Chief Operating Officer. Mike will oversee the Patrol Support Bureau, Administrative Services, Information Technology, Human Resources and…

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Comments | More in General news, Government, The Blotter | Topics: Kathleen O'Toole, Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Police Department

July 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Blue Angels soar over Seattle

Seafair-bound Blue Angels soared through Seattle’s skies this afternoon. The Boeing F/A-18 jets of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron will race at a speed of about 700 mph and perform aerobatic and low-flying tricks at the Boeing Seafair Airshow on Saturday and Sunday. The squad plans to practice for the show Thursday and Friday over Lake Washington. The…

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: Blue Angels, schedule, Seafaire

July 28, 2014 at 9:56 AM

3.6 earthquake shakes up central Puget Sound

The Associated Press SEATTLE — A 3.6 magnitude earthquake shook up the central Puget Sound area Monday morning. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the quake’s epicenter was three miles east of Belfair and was located about 13.6 miles down. It hit just past 4 a.m. No damage was immediately reported.

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Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Belfair, earthquake, U.S. Geological Survey

July 27, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Cost of Washington wildfires so far: $50 million

The Associated Press The cost of fighting this season’s wildfires in Washington, including the largest one in the state’s history, has crossed the $50 million mark. Bolstered by the nearly 400-square-mile wildfire in North Central Washington, this year’s wildfire season has been widespread, with dozens of fires burning at the same time. So far, state estimates put the…

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: cost, Washington wildfires

July 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Former Mayor Paul Schell dies

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Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell died Sunday morning at Swedish hospital. Schell, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2002 was remembered as a “great city builder” by Mayor Ed Murray, whose office announced the death. Schell was 76.

Schell’s rocky term as mayor was marked by public-safety and political crises including the chaotic 1999 WTO protests and 2001 Mardi Gras riot — events that doomed his reelection bid.

But civic leaders praised Schell as a visionary civic leader who left a lasting imprint on Seattle, starting decades before his election as mayor.

“As a citizen activist, lawyer, director of community development, port commissioner, dean of architecture and mayor he directly shaped the civic infrastructure of Seattle for more than 40 years,” Murray said in a news release.

As mayor, Schell led a successful $196 million Libraries for All bond campaign that funded a new downtown library and rebuilt many neighborhood branch libraries. He also championed a $198 million levy for parks and the zoo, and a $72 million effort that mingled public and private dollars to renovate the Seattle Center Opera House and community centers.

“He had a vision for the city that got articulated in bricks and mortar,” friend and former Mayor Charles Royer said in an interview. “I think if it were not for a couple of those bumps, he would have been been regarded as much more effective than he was given credit for. And he is, in my book, one of the most productive mayors we’ve ever had.”

But Schell’s only term was marred by a string of bad news. The 1999 WTO ministerial conference, which Schell had sought for the city, turned into a fiasco of tear gas, property damage and mass arrests. Two years later, during Mardi Gras, a young man was beaten to death in Pioneer Square while police remained on the sidelines of the unruly crowds. As if that weren’t enough, Boeing announced its corporate headquarters would move to Chicago.

By the time Schell ran for reelection, voters were fed up. He placed third in the 2001 primary, behind then-City Attorney Mark Sidran and then-King County Councilman Greg Nickels, who went on to win the general election.

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Comments | More in General news, Government, Politics | Topics: Former Mayor Paul Schell, Mayor Ed Murray

July 26, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Crews make progress in Wash.’s largest wildfire

The Associated Press Officials say firefighting crews are making progress against Washington’s largest wildfire, reporting that the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state is now almost 60 percent contained. The progress at the Carlton complex fire comes as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple-digit temperatures next week. Over the past few…

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: 60 percent contained, Complex wildfire, helped

July 25, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Earthquakes occur in 4 areas of Alaska

The Associated Press JUNEAU, Alaska — Seismologists in Alaska say earthquakes have jolted four different parts of the state in the past 12 hours. A magnitude-5.9 quake was among several that occurred around the same location early Friday in southeast Alaska. The U.S. Geological Survey says people in Juneau, about 100 miles east, felt light shaking. An unrelated…

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Comments | More in General news | Topics: Alaska, earthquake

July 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Serial rapist sentenced to at least 14.5 years for 1980 murder in Bellevue

A serial rapist who was civilly committed as a sexually violent predator in 2002 was sentenced to serve at least 14.5 years, and up to life in prison, for the 1980 rape and fatal strangling of a 19-year-old Bellevue woman in 1980. Because Michael Halgren, 58, strangled Susan Barbara Lowe with a pair of pantyhose before…

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Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: Michael Halgren, prison, serial rapist

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