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Thu May 26, 2011
Thursday morning's headlines
Scattered showers today, partly sunny - high 58. Latest forecast here.
Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:
- Seattle Police Dept. Told to Stop ID'ing Misbehaving Officers
- Gregoire Says Session Was Most Difficult in Memory
- Body Found in Snoqualmie River Near Where Man Vanished
- Lake Washington High School Backs Off Prom Alcohol Tests
Arbitrator's Ruling Shields Disciplined Seattle Officers
A labor arbitrator has ordered the Seattle Police Department to stop releasing the names of officers found to have engaged in misconduct.
Seattle City Attorney's spokeswoman Kimberly Mills says her office is studying its legal options. The city tells The Seattle Times it's considering a court appeal, which could hinge on the Police Department's legal obligations under state public-disclosure laws.
In a ruling made public Wednesday, arbitrator Paul Grace found the city violated contract language prohibiting the release of the officers' names. He ruled at the request of the Seattle police officers' union.
The Police Department has been providing more information recently about internal investigations. The department is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department over its use of force and treatment of minorities.
Special Legislative Session Ends; Governor Says Was Most Difficult in Memory
Governor Chris Gregoire says this year's legislative session was the most difficult in recent memory.
The Democratic governor praised state employees, teachers and retirees Wednesday night for sharing in the sacrifice. She said the budget approved by lawmakers manages to handle a $5.1 billion budget shortfall without budget gimmicks, and she said it will make government leaner and more efficient.
Gregoire says the session brought a new spirit of bipartisanship and that state leaders will walk away from it with a stronger sense of cooperation.
Lawmakers from both parties praised Gregoire for mediating negotiations that led to a series of compromises.
Body Discovered in Snoqualmie River
The King County sheriff's office says a body has been found in the Snoqualmie River near where a 29-year-old Bothell man vanished on Sunday while trying to rescue his dog.
Sergeant John Urquhart said the body was spotted Wednesday afternoon by people in a boat. Sheriff's divers recovered it about 50 feet from shore. There was no immediate confirmation of identity.
Lindsay Grennan has said that she and her fiance, Johnny Sharrar, threw a stick in the water Sunday for their dog to chase.
When the dog got caught in the strong current, they both jumped in to save the animal.
Sharrar was carried away by the water. Grennan was rescued. The dog managed to get out safely.
Kirkland School Backs Off On Prom Alcohol Testing Plan
A high school in Kirkland has backed away from a plan to test every student at this year's senior prom for alcohol.
In an email Wednesday to parents, Lake Washington High School Principal Christina Thomas said students will be tested only if there is "reasonable suspicion" they've been drinking. That was the school's previous policy. A district spokeswoman said earlier this week that Thomas wanted more of a deterrent against alcohol use and thus planned to test everyone.
Thomas' email said the decision to test only on suspicion was made after consulting district lawyers.
ACLU of Washington spokesman Doug Honig had criticized the blanket testing plan and praised the school's decision to reconsider.