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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

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 12:30 PM

Pierce Co. councilman wants ‘In God We Trust’ in chambers

TACOMA (AP) — The Pierce County Council is considering displaying the national motto of “In God We Trust” in its chambers. The Tacoma News Tribune reports the resolution by councilman Jim McCune will be considered on Monday by a subcommittee with final action scheduled for Tuesday. McCune says “In God We Trust” is a national motto…

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Comments | More in Government, Religion | Topics: chamber, In God We Trust, patriotic

July 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Man drowns during Snohomish River drinking party

SNOHOMISH (AP) — The Snohomish Sheriff’s office says a 21-year-old man drowned while attempting to reach a sandbar drinking party on the Snohomish River. The sheriff’s office says the man was in a canoe with other people ferrying them to the sandbar where the group was drinking around midnight Saturday. The canoe took on water, spilling…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: drown, party, river

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 27, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Sunday Memo: Man at party drowns in Snohomish River … Bertha repair hits snag … Marshawn Lynch poll

Young man missing, likely drowned in Snohomish River: The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office says the 21-year-old man was in a canoe that capsized after midnight as he and others were being ferried to a party on a sandbar in the river. The search for the man was to resume this morning. No one…

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Comments | More in Morning Memo | Topics: bertha, drowning, Lynch

July 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Bertha’s repair pit hitting some slowdowns

This fall’s hoist of the damaged, 2,000-ton front end of the tunnel boring machine Bertha will happen a bit later than planned, because workers are having difficulty digging a 120-foot deep retrieval shaft just ahead of the big drill. The state Transportation Department hasn’t released details of the problem, but is expected to do so within the next…

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Comments | More in Traffic & Transit | Topics: bertha, Highway 99 tunnel, Sarnia

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 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Naked driver, possible burglar, injured in auto rollover on I-5

A burglary suspect driving naked crashed and rolled a stolen car on Interstate 5 south in Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood Saturday morning. State Patrol troopers responded to the crash scene just after 5 a.m. and found the driver naked and unconscious outside the vehicle. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center. Neither his condition nor his…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: auto theft, Interstate 5, Lynnwood Police Department

July 26, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Oregon man arrested over bribe for traffic ticket

TILLAMOOK, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say they arrested a man after he tried to bribe a trooper to tear up a citation during a traffic stop. Officials say 20-year old Austen Corno, a Milwaukie resident, offered the trooper $360 to tear the citation up. Corno was stopped on Friday along Highway 101 in Tillamook County…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: bribe, Oregon, state trooper

July 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Tacoma father charged with drugging baby

TACOMA (AP) — A Tacoma man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he drugged his baby by spiking his bottle with an anesthetic called ketamine. Pierce County authorities say 34-year-old Scott Rasmus has been charged with first degree assault of a child and unlawful possession of a firearm. The charges date back to a February incident…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: baby, drugged, not guilty plea

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