Gene Johnson

Associated Press Reporter


Marijuana DUI
10:40 am
Thu November 21, 2013

More Drivers Test Positive for Pot in Wash. State

Associated Press

New figures from the Washington State Patrol show that more drivers have tested positive for marijuana since the state legalized the drug last year.

In the first six months of 2013, the patrol's crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.

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marijuana laws
1:14 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Colo., Wash. Courts Weigh Lawyer Pot Use, Advice

Associated Press

Seattle attorney Kurt Boehl is happy to think he's contributing to the success of Washington's grand experiment in regulating marijuana by advising his clients on how to navigate the industry's legal complexities.

But there's a worry that his efforts could earn him an ethics complaint. After all, marijuana is illegal under federal law, and lawyers aren't supposed to help their clients break the law.

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taxing marijuana
10:31 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Will Wash. State's Legal Pot Taxes Go to Health Care?

Associated Press

One selling point of Washington's new legal marijuana law was that a huge chunk of pot-related tax revenue would be devoted to health coverage for low-income residents.

But it's not clear the money will go to health care after all.Under the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," a would-be recipient of the pot taxes— Washington's Basic Health Plan—is being eliminated. The plan, which provided low-cost health insurance to the working poor, is being absorbed by Medicaid and will end Dec. 31, according the state Health Care Authority.

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regulating marijuana
2:30 pm
Sun October 20, 2013

Panel Examines Future of Medical Pot in Wash.

Elaine Thompson Associated Press

As the proprietor of a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Dawn Darington has seen patients wracked by AIDS and cancer. She's also seen "patients" who show up for a free pot brownie and never come back.

Now, Washington is pushing forward with plans to entice the latter into its new world of legal, taxed recreational pot, and advocates like Darington say they're worried about where that's going to leave those who actually need cannabis.

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American held in North Korea
6:28 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Mother Visits Lynnwood Man Detained in North Korea

The family of an American man detained in North Korea for the past 11 months says his mother is being allowed to visit him.

Terri Chung, the sister of Kenneth Bae, tells The Associated Press their mother has arrived in Pyongyang and was scheduled to meet with him Friday morning local time.

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oil transportation
12:03 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Wash. State Pulls Permits for 2 Oil Train Terminals

  Officials are rejecting permits for two major oil-train terminals in Southwest Washington after deciding the projects should face more environmental scrutiny.

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Navy Yard Shooting
8:51 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Navy Yard Suspect Arrested in '04 Seattle Shooting

An Emergency Response Team vehicle arrives to the scene where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.
Jacquelyn Martin AP Photo

The man identified as the shooter in the Washington Navy Yard slayings had been arrested in Seattle in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a parked car in what he described as an anger-fueled "black out."

Two construction workers building a new home told police that Aaron Alexis walked out of a home next door on May 6, 2004, pulled a pistol from his waistband and fired three shots into the rear tires of their parked car.

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regulating marijuana
10:38 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Feds Won't Sue to Stop Legal Pot in Wash. State

AP Photo

Despite 75 years of federal marijuana prohibition, the Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use the drug, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it — as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property.

In a sweeping new policy statement prompted by pot legalization votes in Washington and Colorado last fall, the department gave the green light to states to adopt tight regulatory schemes to oversee the medical and recreational marijuana industries burgeoning across the country.

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Afghan civilian killing
11:24 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Jury: Life without Parole for Bales in Afghan Massacre

Peter Millet Associated Press

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 40, who pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty, showed no emotion as the verdict was announced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle.

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Afghan civilian killing
11:54 am
Thu August 22, 2013

At Sentencing, Bales Apologizes for Afghan Massacre

In this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seated in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, during a sentencing hearing in the slayings of 16 civilians killed during pre-dawn raids on two villages.
Peter Millet Associated Press

The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan villagers apologized for his "act of cowardice" as he made his case for why he should one day have a shot at freedom.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales said Thursday that he was operating "behind a mask of fear ... and bravado" when he went on a solo nighttime mission and slaughtered villagers in mud-walled huts.

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Afghan civilian killing
11:22 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Brother Testifies for Defense in Afghan Massacre

In this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seated in a courtroom at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, during a sentencing hearing in the slayings of 16 civilians killed during pre-dawn raids on two villages
Peter Millet Associated Press

An older brother of the U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year is telling a military jury about what his sibling was like as a youth.

Bill Bales says Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was an outgoing youngster who served as his high school class president and captain of the football team in Norwood, Ohio, where they grew up.

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Afghan civilian killing
9:47 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Jury Selection Begins for Afghanistan Massacre Sentencing

DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File/AP Photo

Jury selection is underway in the sentencing of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who killed 16 Afghan civilians during raids on two villages last year.

Bales pleaded guilty in June to premeditated murder and other charges in a deal to avoid the death penalty. This week's sentencing will determine whether he is sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, or without it.

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Afghan civilian killing
4:24 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Army: Soldier, Wife Laughed about Killing Charges

DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File/AP photo

Army prosecutors said Monday they have a recording of a phone call in which Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and his wife laugh as they review the charges filed against him in the killing of 16 Afghan villagers.

Bales, an Ohio native and father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., pleaded guilty in June in a deal to avoid the death penalty for killing the civilians, mostly women and children, on March 11, 2012.

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Afghan civilian killing
12:22 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Judge: Prosecutors Can Remain on Bales Case

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2011, file photo provided by the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System, Sgt. Robert Bales takes part in exercises at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock

A military judge says a team of Army prosecutors can remain on the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales for his sentencing next week, even after they read documents they weren't supposed to.

Bales pleaded guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians during nighttime raids last year.

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regulating marijuana
11:38 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Legal Pot Prompts Question: What About Hash?

Justin Steyer KPLU

Washington state's new legal pot law is prompting a conversation about the place of hash and other potent, concentrated marijuana products in the industry.

The law doesn't allow the sale of pure hash or hash oil at state-licensed stores. But state regulators have issued draft rules saying the products can be sold — as long as they're mixed with something else, such as brownies, sodas or even a tiny drop of glycerin.

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