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Wed February 9, 2011
Wednesday morning's headlines
Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:
- Thousands Mourn Slain Guard as Investigations Continue
- Pierce Transit Ballot Defeated
- School Votes Mixed
Guard's Memorial Draws Huge Crowds
Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl's funeral motorcade attracted thousands of mourners Snohomish County streets from Monroe, where she worked, to downtown Everett. Her memorial service at the city's Comcast Center drew thousands more,according to KPLU's Liam Moriarty.
Meanwhile, the Herald of Everett reports this morning there are several investigations now into the prison guard's murder two weeks ago:
Monroe police must wrap up their criminal investigation before other agencies can delve into the case. Police served more search warrants in the past few days and are wrapping up interviews and collecting evidence, Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.
Prime suspect, inmate Byron Scherf, is still refusing to speak with investigators, according to the Herald. Monroe Police work must be completed first before Snohomish County prosecutors can forward the case, and a Monroe Correctional Complex investigation can begin.
Election Results: Pierce Transit Measure Fails
Pierce County voters rejected a sales tax plan to bolster public transit services. The News Tribune's Kris Sherman reports Proposition One is failing 54 to 46 percent, a margin that insures its defeat:
Pierce Transit wanted a three-tenths of 1 percent increase in the local sales tax to shore up finances left sagging heavily by the recession. It would raised an estimated $30 million a year for the public agency, which served some 18 million riders on its local and Sound Transit routes in 2009.
Agency leaders have said that without the sales tax, they'll have to make cuts of 35%, likely to start in June, resulting in reduced service, and potential layoffs of more than 200 employees of the 1,000 total at Pierce Transit.
Voters in Jefferson County, meanwhile, were passing a $1.1 million dollar package to maintain Jefferson Transit services.
School Ballots Get Mixed Results
There were a number of school district levy and bond votes before Northwest voters yesterday.
- In King County, Lake Washington and Highline voters passed measures; bond issues in Vashon Island and Snoqualmie Valley are failing, reports The Seattle Times.
- In Pierce County, The News Tribune' Steve Maynard reports the Peninsula School District in Gig Harbor is coming up short of the 60% needed to pass a school renovation and maintenance bond.
- In Kitsap County, Central Kitsap district voters passed a capital projects levy, according to the Kitsap Sun.
- On the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Chimacum and Quillayute Valley all passed their ballot measures, reports the Peninsula Daily News.
- In Southwest Washington, levy measures in Longview, Toledo and Toutle passed, reports The Daily News' Greg Garrison.
- In Whatcom County, Lynden Schools were coming up shy of the votes needed to pass a school construction bond, according to Kira M. Cox of the Bellingham Herald.