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Fri July 8, 2011
Friday morning's headlines
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 65. Forecast here.
Making headlines in the Northwest:
- Bainbridge looking into polices around police misconduct
- Off the wire: Cliff rescue; crab boat runs aground
- One pot initiative won't make ballot, another still in play
- Don’t pee on the trail and other cautions urged by park
- Washington moves up in rankings for obesity
Bainbridge Island is hiring a former Seattle police watchdog to review its police department's misconduct investigation procedures, reports the Kitsap Sun.
"We are hoping to take a close look at our procedures and policies, and build back the community's trust in our police department," Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos said.
The review will be conducted by police accountability consultant Sam Pailca. She served for six years as the Seattle Police Department's first Office of Professional Accountability director, a job that often put her at odds with rank-and-file officers. She was particularly critical of officer relations with ethnic minorities.
Hytopoulos stressed that the review was not sparked by any single incident.
- The two men charged with planning to attack a Seattle military recruiting station have pleaded not guilty. An indictment released by the U.S. attorney's office yesterday charges 33-year-old Khalid Abdul-Latif of Seattle and 32-year-old Walli Mujahidh of Los Angeles with conspiracy to murder federal agents and officers, as well as conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
- The first concrete is being poured today at the casting basin in Aberdeen where pontoons will be built for the new Highway 520 floating bridge on Lake Washington. Building the basin is the first step in the construction of big concrete pontoons that will be floated to Seattle and linked together on the lake to form the bridge.
- A Coast Guard helicopter crew has rescued an injured Selah, Wash., man from a cliff near North Head Lighthouse on the southwest Washington coast. The 34-year-old man reportedly was fishing from the rocks with friends and fell while climbing back to shore.
- A former police officer arrested in the 1957 murder of an Illinois girl says he has an "iron-clad alibi" and had nothing to do with her disappearance or death. Jack Daniel McCullough told The Associated Press in a jailhouse interview last night that he wants justice to be done for 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. He says that he had traveled to Chicago for military medical exams that day — as he has always maintained. The 71-year-old was arrested in Seattle last week.
- State officials say a commercial crab boat ran aground early today near Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands. Ecology Department spokesman Seth Preston says the Coast Guard rescued seven people on board. Preston says the Ecology Department is checking for a possible fuel spill.
- Police say they have a suspect in the shooting death of a woman in her Bellingham apartment. Detectives believe a 40-year-old woman shot Kriston Dunya, whose body was found Tuesday. They say the suspect had a relationship with Dunya's estranged husband and the shooting may have been motivated by her desire to keep him from losing custody of his 7-year-old son.
- Oregon wildlife officials are excited about the volume of returning Chinook salmon to the Sandy River this summer. The department reports the salmon returns are good and the fishing conditions excellent.
An initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington state has failed to make the fall ballot for the second year in a row.
Douglas Hiatt of the organization Sensible Washington tells The Associated Press that the group is still counting signatures, but they're not going to have the 241,000 needed to qualify. The deadline for turning in signatures is Friday.
The initiative would have removed all state criminal and civil penalties for marijuana use, possession and distribution, no matter how much cannabis someone had. The drug would have remained illegal under federal law.
Another organization, New Approach Washington, is also pushing a marijuana legalization initiative, but that is an initiative to the Legislature, for which signatures must be collected by the end of the year. That effort calls for legalizing up to an ounce of pot to be sold and taxed at state-licensed stores.
– The Associated Press
Visitors to Olympic National Park are being urged not to urinate along trails frequented by mountain goats, to avoid turning trails into “long, linear salt licks” and attracting goats, reports the online Peninsula Daily News.
The cautions are part of the park’s revised mountain goat action plan, which includes safety-inspired trail closures of two weeks or more and “aversive conditioning” of the animals when they become too aggressive.
The plan was approved by park Superintendent Karen Gustin in the wake of the Oct. 16, goring death of Port Angeles resident Bob Boardman, 63, on Switchback Trail near Klahhane Ridge.
Washington is the 28th most obese state in the country, according to a study by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Everett Herald reports that 15 years ago, Washington had an obesity rate of 13.9 percent and was ranked the 32nd most obese state in the nation. The obesity rate in Washington increased 90 percent over the last 15 years, according to the study.
Instances of diabetes and high blood pressure rates have gone up as well. Some 7.4 percent of Washington adults have diabetes, up from 4 percent in 1995, and nearly 26 percent of adults have high blood pressure.