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June 14, 2013 at 10:43 AM
EAGLE POINT, Ore. (AP) — A school district in southern Oregon is considering arming teachers and other staff members to protect students from school violence.
“The first three minutes of an armed attack require an armed response,” said Scott Grissom, president of the five-member school board in Eagle Point, a town of about 8,500 north of Medford.
Under Grissom’s plan, employees approved by the board would be trained in firearm safety, the Medford Mail Tribune reported.
Those staffers would be allowed to carry firearms on school property during school hours, at school-sponsored events and board meetings. They would also get extra pay and liability insurance.
The board voted 4-1 on Wednesday to have the school superintendent, Cynda Rickert, set up a committee to study the proposal.
But board member Jim Mannenbach urged the board to consider going after federal grants to hire more school resource officers.
“Trained police officers know when to shoot and when not to shoot,” he said.
Board member Mary Olsen said hiring more safety resource officers isn’t possible now, so training and arming teachers would be a good “temporary stop gap.”
Rickert said Grissom had brought up the idea a few months ago.
“My personal inclination is real hesitancy,” Rickert said. “As an educator, in my world, this makes me very, very uncomfortable. But I am willing to look into it and see where it takes us.”
Rickert said a committee of law enforcement officers, teachers, staff members, parents and legal counsel would do the research.
“We have great partnerships with local law enforcement, so we will rely heavily on their input,” Rickert said.
Grissom, recently re-elected to a four-year term, said armed teachers would make Eagle Point students “the safest kids in Oregon and probably on the West Coast.
“I trust our teachers,” Grissom said. “An armed intruder wouldn’t come into our schools knowing teachers had concealed weapons.”
February 8, 2013 at 5:50 AM
OMAK (AP) — The Omak School District superintendent was killed in a crash on Highway 97 near Pateros.
The Washington State Patrol says 68-year-old Arthur Himmler was trying to pass another vehicle Thursday when he lost control of his pickup.
KPQ reports the truck rolled. Himmler was ejected and died at the scene.
January 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM
MOUNT VERNON (AP) — A man who threatened to shoot up schools if his gun rights were taken away because of the Connecticut school shooting was sentenced Thursday in Mount Vernon to three months in jail.
The Skagit Valley Herald reports 19-year-old Korry Martinson of Sedro-Woolley pleaded guilty to felony harassment in an unusual plea agreement with prosecutors.
If a mental health evaluation indicates he could pose a danger to the community, the plea will remain. But, if the evaluation yields no concerns for future behavior, he could withdraw his felony plea and plead guilty to gross misdemeanor harassment instead.
Martinson made the threat on Facebook Dec. 14, the same day as the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
January 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM
The Associated Press
RIDGEFIELD, Clark County — Recent mass shootings at a Portland mall and a school in Connecticut prompted the Ridgefield School District to hire armed guards.
Guards from the Spokane-based Phoenix Protective Corp. went to work this week at the district near Vancouver.
The Columbian reports at least two guards will patrol the district’s three campuses for the rest of the school year.
The district also is encouraging students to ride school buses so their parents don’t drive them. That’s intended to reduce the number of adults arriving at a school.
Ridgefield had a police school security officer until the end of 2010 when money for the position ran out.
Ridgefield is about 16 miles north of Vancouver. The school district has an enrollment of about 2,200 students, according to the district’s website.
December 18, 2012 at 5:45 AM
UPDATE: 7:35 a.m. | Parts of Western Washington are seeing their first snowflakes of the season, including communities east, south and north of Seattle.
While the snowfall amounted to little more than a dusting in most areas, some outlying spots had significant snow on the ground this morning. In Pierce County, Bonney Lake had 2 ½ inches and Eatonville, at 700 feet in elevation, reported 5 inches of snow, said Steve Reedy of the National Weather Service.
About 2 inches of snow was reported in Enumclaw in the Cascade foothills.
Most highways and major roads were bare and wet by the time of this morning’s commute.
Reedy, who drove to Seattle in from Mukilteo Tuesday morning, said he saw “light snow flurries, ” but more of a rain-snow mix, along the way.
More than 20 school districts in the area made adjustments ranging from altering bus schedules to starting two hours later or cancelling classes to due to the snow. You can find the details at schoolreport.org.
Reedy said the light snow accumulations this morning will be short-lived but more showers are possible tomorrow with a chance of high winds in places.
Heavy snow fell in the mountains, and more is expected. At 8 a.m., chains were required on all vehicles without all-wheel drive on both Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes, and it was snowing on both passes. Accumulations of 1 to 3 feet are likely in the Cascades by Thursday morning, making driving through the passes difficult.
In Eastern Washington, the National Weather Service says scattered snow showers Tuesday will be followed by heavy snow Wednesday and Thursday. Accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected north of Highway 2. In the Spokane area, 3 to 5 inches are possible by Wednesday night with another 1 to 3 inches possible Thursday.
Material from the Associated Press is included in this report.
April 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM
By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP
The Associated Press
Students were expelled or suspended from a Washington state public school 45 times last year for bringing a handgun to class, according to new statewide data on weapons in school.
The guns were found in big districts and small, rural and urban. And the problem is nothing new for Washington state, according to the Weapons In School Report for the 2010-11 School Year.
State statistics on other weapons — from knives to shotguns — show a downward trend over the past decade. But the numbers of handgun incidents have remained steady around 45 to 47 over the past 10 years.
School safety experts warn, however, that these school statistics, and recent incidents including the accidental shooting of a girl in a Bremerton classroom, give school officials just a glimpse of a bigger problem. Read the full story.
March 6, 2012 at 6:58 AM
Weather: Snow, particularly in Snohomish County and at higher areas in King County. Forecast calls for the snow to end later this morning, thank goodness. And then, sunshine later today, tomorrow and Thursday, with 60 degrees by Friday! The forecast.
Traffic: Slippery in many areas north of Seattle, so drive carefully. A car ran into a building on Denny Way not far from The Seattle Times this morning. Unclear if it was weather-related, though. The map and cams.
A number of schools starting late because of the snow, so check School Reports to see if it’s one of yours.
A llama was killed and a second was hurt when they were attacked by dogs in the Spokane area, according to KREM in Spokane. Joggers came upon the attack Monday. One dog has been impounded. Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service is investigating. It’s reminder that dogs are pack animals.
If you recall, a whole bunch of folks trying to get into a GOP caucus in Kennewick Saturday were crowded out. Well, the Benton County GOP has apologized for the incident, even going so far as to have precinct officers try to say they’re sorry individually.
Faith-healing death: A couple in Carlton, Okanogan County, have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the 2009 death of their teenage son. The family tried to heal him through prayer, according to a story in The Wenachee World.
‘Nuff said: The Daily Herald says a guy who reportedly claimed aliens told him to assassinate Gov. Chris Gregoire is behind bars for making a threat. The threat was in a letter he reportedly wrote to a state office.
Most-read stories this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Lawsuit says Paula Deen condones harassment, racism in food businesses
- ‘Very, very scary’: Rapist arrested in attack on 6 women
- Northwest Wanderings: Getting along, like good little doggies
- Four phenoms make pitches for Mariners’ future | Steve Kelley
- Washington’s Terrence Ross says he feels “snubbed” after Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez wins Pac-12 player of the year award
January 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM
The Aberdeen School District has agreed to pay $100,000 to a former student who said he endured severe and persistent harassment throughout junior high and high school and that school officials were made aware of it but did nothing to end it.
The district reached the settlement with Russell Dickerson III, now 20, who is African American. The ACLU, which represented Dickerson, will receive $35,000 in legal fees.
In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma in December 2010, Dickerson said that from 2003 when he entered junior high until 2009 when he graduated high school, other students harassed him on the basis of his race, sex and perceived sexual orientation.
At Miller Junior High, Dickerson said he was called names by other students and found notes in his backpack and taped to his back calling him derogatory names. At Aberdeen High School, the harassment escalated.
He said students tripped him in the hallways and threw food at him in the cafeteria. In one incident, three students pushed him to the floor in the hallway and smashed a raw egg on his head; only one of the students was disciplined.
The lawsuit claimed that the deliberate indifference to ongoing harassment by the school district, which receives federal funds, violated federal civil rights and education laws. It claimed the district’s negligent inaction also violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
January 20, 2012 at 7:48 AM
Traffic: May still be a mess. Ice is still out there. A lot of slush, too. You can’t be too careful. The good news yesterday was that there were fewer drivers on the roads. Be prepared for more folks taking to the roads this morning, however. The map and the cams.
No indoor grills, generators: We can’t emphasize enough that if your power is out, do not try to get warm by burning charcoal indoors or by burning anything in your home other than in a fireplace or woodstove. It is dangerous to do so. Carbon monoxide is a danger and can be deadly. If you run a generator, keep it outside.
Schools: Many school districts have canceled classes again today. Don’t forget to check SchoolReport.org.
Driving on snow and ice: A poll! Someone said the other day they thought Seattle drivers did better this go around driving in the snow. Take our poll.
Most-read stories on seattletimes.com this morning:
October 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM
Education programs bore the brunt of the budget proposal released by Gov. Chris Gregoire today, with more than half a billion dollars in suggested cuts divvied up between early learning ($5 million), K-12 education ($365 million) and higher education ($174 million).
Among the specific cuts, Gregoire proposed reducing state levy equalization payments by 50 percent (saving $150 million), increasing class size by two students in grades 4-12 (saving $137 million) and reducing annual bonuses for national board certified teachers (saving $8 million).
For schools officials who already believe the state Legislature is failing in its constitutional obligation to fully fund basic education, the proposed cuts were hard to swallow.
Randy Dorn, the superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction, released a blunt statement shortly after Gregoire announced the proposal.
“I understand why the governor must propose cuts and that this is just the beginning of the conversation, but these cuts can’t happen,” he said.
In Seattle, officials who had braced for cuts were surprised by just how bad the news was.
School Board President Steve Sundquist called the proposal “devastating.”
“We’ve made cuts now three years running,” he said. “It’s getting increasingly hard to keep those cuts from impacting our students, so I’m extraordinarily worried.”
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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