December 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM
A 28-year-old woman who allegedly dropped a case of Red Bull as she fled on bicycle from a University of Washington fraternity house was arrested Tuesday in connection with the burglary, said Seattle police.
Police said that “science and old-fashioned police work” led detectives to the suspect.
It all started on Nov. 18 at about 6:30 in the morning when a male house member at the frat, in the 4600 block of 22nd Avenue Northeast, saw an unknown man walking down the stairs from the second floor.
When confronted, the man quickly left the house and was last seen riding a bicycle, said police.
When the frat member went outside, police said, he heard a rustling noise in the bushes and discovered an unknown female. She was carrying a case of Red Bull, which she dropped as she also fled on a bicycle.
Then, on Dec. 2, shortly after midnight, two North Precinct police officers located and arrested a female for a warrant and violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, said police.
She was booked at the King County Jail.
The next day, on Dec. 3, the woman confessed to the Red Bull burglary, said police.
Police said other burglaries at UW fraternities and sororities remain under investigation.
December 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM
The beleaguered city of Gold Bar is in trouble with the Washington State Auditor’s Office again for lax financial procedures and spending more than it brought in for three of the past four years. The city of 2,000 has only enough money in its emergency fund to cover 1.5 days of general-fund expenditures, and it owes its own water utility $80,000.
In its third straight negative annual audit, the auditor criticized the city for loose financial policies. According to the audit, the city’s travel policy doesn’t require receipts, it keeps its city credit cards in an unlocked safe “where all employees have access and can self-check-out by use of a logbook.” And city fuel cards are in envelopes with the PIN written on the outside. The city’s petty cash drawer is unlocked and, at the time of the audit, short $145.
There is no purchase-order process, and expenditures by the council are approved by a panel of one council member and two city residents who don’t consider the city’s current policies, the auditor wrote.
November 27, 2013 at 2:35 PM
Assistant Chief Nick Metz, one of the most visible and longest serving members of the command staff in the Seattle Police Department, is being removed in the wake of a highly critical report on the progress of police reforms, according to sources familiar with the move.
As part of continuing shake-up in the top ranks, Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel has given Metz an ultimatum: take an assignment to captain or accept a severance package, the sources said.
In an emotional written message to the community and department this afternoon, Metz said he has accepted the change and pledged to serve the city with the “same level of care and professionalism that I promised when I took my oath over thirty years ago.”
Pugel’s action represents the most dramatic personnel fallout since the city entered into a July 2012 settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing.
Word of the decision has swept through the department, sending shock waves through the ranks.
Metz declined to comment.
As part of the changes, Capt. Carmen Best, who heads the South Precinct, is to be promoted to assistant chief, one source said. Capt. John Hayes Jr. will take her spot in the South Precinct, the source said.
Pugel earlier this week informed the department of the demotion of Assistant Chief Dick Reed, who asked to return to the rank of captain.
Reed has overseen the department’s technology and data-collection operations, which came under sharp criticism in a Nov. 15 draft report by the federal monitor overseeing the city’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice. The agreement calls for reforms to address the use of excessive force and biased policing.
The draft report from the monitor, Merrick Bobb, also cited resistance to the reforms in the top ranks of the Police Department, although he did not provide names.
Previously, Metz served as one of two deputy chiefs, the second highest rank in the department, until Pugel eliminated the position when he became interim chief in April. Metz was moved to the rank of assistant chief, where he currently oversees the Investigations Bureau.
Metz, 51, joined the Police Department in 1983. He was promoted to assistant chief in October 2001.
Metz previously headed the Patrol Operations bureau, at a time when the department came under scrutiny.
City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the council’s public-safety committee, said today that Pugel had been asked who should be held responsible for public perceptions about decades of misconduct.
Pugel was asked to seriously look at the issue and make changes he believed to be appropriate, Harrell said.
“We’re asking him to make tough decisions,” Harrell said.
November 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM
SPOKANE VALLEY (AP) — The Spokane Valley City Council has approved an ordinance that identifies what body parts cannot be exposed in public.
The ordinance, unanimously passed Tuesday, is aimed at getting nearly nude coffee stand servers to cover up, reports KREM.
The ordinance prohibits a person from knowingly exposing a body part in public without a full or opaque covering.
What doesn’t count as cover? Body paint, body dye or stick-on tattoos.
The controversy began earlier this year when a coffee stand opened blocks from the Spokane Valley City Hall with nearly nude baristas. The stand advertised Topless Tuesdays and Thursdays.
November 26, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Two Thurston County girls Tuesday sued the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), claiming the agency mishandled complaints that their mother was abusing them.
The mother, Theresa Ann Hutton, was convicted in 2009 of second-degree criminal mistreatment after a court found she withheld the “basic necessities of life” from one of the girls, who was forced to sleep outside, denied food and made to perform difficult chores.
Hutton had gained sole custody of the girls after their father died in a car accident. At the time, she was pregnant with the younger daughter; the older daughter was 5.
The lawsuit, filed in Thurston County Superior Court, alleges DSHS received “numerous complaints and referrals regarding Ms. Hutton’s treatment…but negligently, carelessly and unlawfully failed” to adequately respond.
As a result, the suit claims, the girls “suffered both physical and mental pain, disability, discomfort and anguish.”
The girls’ lawyer, Stephen Bulzomi, said public records indicate DSHS was alerted about potential issues at least 24 times.
An appeals court ruling in Hutton’s criminal case noted that Child Protective Services “sent investigators to the Hutton property many times” and “found Hutton’s home cluttered, dirty and smelling strongly of urine or ammonia,” and “did not attempt to remove the children, however, because there was adequate food and shelter, and there were no reports of physical abuse.”
The older daughter eventually ran away.
The girls, now 18 and 12, are in the custody of their paternal aunt, who filed the suit on behalf of the younger daughter.
The suit requests an unspecified amount of compensation for the girls.
A DSHS spokeswoman said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
November 26, 2013 at 11:21 AM
A federal judge today denied a citizen commission’s request to formally intervene in court-ordered Seattle police reforms and refused to grant delays the panel had requested to offer its views regarding policy changes.
But in a 19-page order, U.S. District Judge James Robart permitted the Community Police Commission (CPC) to file memorandums with the court “commenting on any issue or motion” raised as part of the City of Seattle’s settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing in the Police Department.
Robart also granted “compromise” delays offered by federal attorneys to allow the CPC, which was created as part of last year’s settlement agreement, more time to comment on bias-free policing, brief detentions of citizens and the Police Department’s community outreach.
However, Robart denied the CPC’s request to extend deadlines to comment on use-of-force training curricula, an early-intervention system to identify problem officers and policy manual for the Police Department’s internal-investigation unit, the Office of Professional Accountability.
Robart’s ruling represented a victory for federal attorneys, who objected to the CPC’s request to intervene, saying it would cause undue delay in the reform. They also fully objected to some of the delays sought by the CPC.
In his ruling, Robart wrote that “permitting intervention would likely result in undue delay without a corresponding benefit to existing litigants, the court, or the process of reform because the existing parties are zealously pursing the same ultimate objectives as the CPC.”
November 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM
The Associated Press
Air Force One lifted off from a foggy Sea-Tac Airport Monday morning as President Obama continued a West Coast fundraising trip with stops planned in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The president started his day in Seattle after an overnight stay at a downtown hotel.
Obama arrived Sunday afternoon and attended private fundraisers for Democrats at homes in Seattle and Medina.
November 25, 2013 at 8:58 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Capitol Christmas Tree is arriving at the U.S. Capitol after making its way from a forest in northeast Washington state.
Once the tree is in place on the Capitol’s west lawn Monday, organizers say it will be decorated with more than 5,000 handmade ornaments from children across the country. A tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.
The tree made stops in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland on its way to the nation’s capital.
The U.S. Forest Service is in charge of cutting and maintaining the tree. Donations cover the cost of transporting the tree across the country. This year’s lead sponsors included the Truckload Carriers
November 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM
What could be more boring than yet another public-service announcement reminding you how to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters?
Especially one with a crudely drawn cartoon?
But Bellevue’s Office of Emergency Management is sending that familiar message in the form of a video that jumps out of the usual ho-hum genre.
The words, delivered by a Sasquatch family and band, “Liv and the Survivors,” are delivered with an infuriatingly catchy rock beat and driving vocal recorded by musically inclined city bureaucrat, Inness Pryor.
Heaven help us if we end up walking around singing:
“Gotta survive, gotta stay alive,
“Gotta have supplies and a master plan.
“Gotta know your neighbors,
“Gotta build your kits,
“Gotta lend a helping hand.”
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
November 20, 2013 at 7:55 AM
Several dozen homeless advocates hit the streets of downtown as part of an organized protest.
Marchers, many dressed in heavy coats and knit caps this chilly morning, walked from Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall. The activists’ goal is to get 1,000 people off Seattle streets by summer. Protesters plan to attend the Committee to End Homelessness in King County Governing Board Meeting inside City Hall at 8:30 a.m., according to a news release sent out by the City of Seattle.
Seattle police are monitoring the event.
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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