Northwest Briefly: Repairs to close runway at Sea-Tac

  • Mon Jul 12th, 2010 9:47pm
  • News

SEATAC — The Port of Seattle said the closure of the center runway at Sea-Tac Airport this summer should not affect flight schedules or passengers.

Work is beginning this week on a 60-day project to replace about 150 of the 4,000 concrete panels on the runway that have been cracking. The runway was originally built in 1969 and more than 400 of the panels already have been replaced. A full replacement is scheduled for 2016.

Air traffic will be routed on two other Sea-Tac runways during the construction.

Seattle: 15-year sewer project begins

Seattle is fixing its plumbing — and it’s going to mean higher water bills for residents.

The city is beginning a 15-year, $500 million project to reduce storm water and sewage that enter its waterways.

The work is required by the federal Clean Water Act. But the city warns it will mean rate increases for several years, starting in 2011.

The city said that because it has been working for years on the problem, the cost to finish the job probably will be less than other cities must pay to comply with the law. Also, because of the poor economy, bids from contractors are up to 30 percent lower than expected.

Biofuels for jets part of NW study

Major airports in the Pacific Northwest are joining Boeing Co., Alaska Airlines and Washington State University to study how biomass sources might produce aviation fuel.

The six-month study announced Monday will look at how a biofuels industry might be created in the Northwest and used to power jet fleets. Portland International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International and Spokane International will take part.

Boeing has said that by 2015, it and other aircraft makers and airlines want to use biofuels for 1 percent of annual fuel consumption — about 500 million to 600 million gallons.

Among the possible fuel sources are algae, wood byproducts and farm crops. Proponents say biofuels could eliminate millions of tons of greenhouse gases.

Olympia: Court to hear DNR dispute

The state Supreme Court will hear a dispute between the state’s public lands commissioner and Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said McKenna is ignoring his legal duty to represent the Department of Natural Resources because he has refused to appeal a right-of-way case in Okanogan County. The county Public Utility District won a lower-court case allowing it to run power lines across some state trust land that Goldmark manages.

The attorney general is the lawyer for state agencies in official matters. Goldmark, a Democrat, wants to appeal the case. But McKenna said he can decide which cases to appeal on his own.

Liquor privatization measure certified

Secretary of State Sam Reed has certified one of two liquor privatization measures to the ballot.

Initiative 1100 was certified Monday. Supporters turned in more than 390,000 voter signatures, well above the 241,000 required. A random check of signatures was completed Friday.

If I-1100 passes, the state distribution and sales system would be abolished in favor of private businesses. Retailers with licenses to sell beer and wine would be eligible to add a liquor license, while state price controls and bans against volume discounts would be repealed. Retailers also could buy directly from manufacturers.

Olympia: Burn ban on state lands

The state Department of Natural Resources is banning outdoor burning from July 15 through Sept. 30 on state-protected lands to help prevent wildfires.

Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said Monday the burn ban is necessary because of the cost and danger of fires that spread out of control.

The ban does not apply to federal lands, approved campfires in campgrounds or self-contained gas and propane stoves and barbecues.

Wenatchee: Strong winds at wildfire

Firefighters battling a wildfire about 10 miles north of Wenatchee have had to contend with strong winds Monday that gusted as high as 46 miles per hour.

The Swakane Canyon fire was reported 30 percent contained by Monday evening. KOMO-TV said fire officials estimate it has burned across more than 17 square miles of grass and brush. The fire started Saturday. It’s been burning on land owned by the Forest Service, Washington Department of Natural Resources and private individuals.

The fire has destroyed a hay barn. About 18 people evacuated Saturday night. Firefighters are protecting about 70 homes and some orchards along Highway 97A.

Nearby resident Bobbie Calico breeds rabbits. She said she has her rabbits ready in portable cages if they all need to evacuate.

Mount Vernon: County now has its own morgue

The Skagit County coroner’s office now has it’s own morgue, located in Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon.

Coroner Daniel Dempsey told the Skagit Valley Herald it will help in properly storing evidence for criminal investigations.

His office handles autopsies on about 80 accidental or suspicious deaths a year. Until now most Skagit County autopsies have been conducted in larger counties.

Pasco: 4 weekend gang shootings

Police said four shootings over the weekend in Pasco appear to be gang related.

Police were called to a hospital Saturday night where a man who had been shot in the back was being treated. He refused to give investigators any details of the shooting.

Police also received reports Saturday night of gunfire between two groups of men and shots fired toward a residence. Shots also were fired at a home early Sunday. KONA reports no one was injured in those shootings.

Sunnyside: Gang shooting kills teen

Police said a fatal shooting in Sunnyside is gang-related.

An 18-year-old on the front porch of a home was hit in the head Saturday night as shots fired from a passing car hit the front of the house.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reported the teen had been house-sitting for the residents who were out of town.

Family members of the victim told KNDO-TV he was not a gang member.

Police reportedly located a vehicle of interest and are still looking for the shooters.

Yakima: Lots of cherries for harvest

A slow start for the Washington cherry crop because of a damp spring left some stores short during the Fourth of July weekend when sales usually peak.

The Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association told the Yakima Herald-Republic that 4.8 million boxes of cherries were shipped from Washington and Oregon through the holiday weekend, compared with 6.7 million last year.

B.J. Thurlby of the Northwest Cherry Growers group said the harvest is expected to continue through the middle of August.

Northwest cherry exports account for 28 percent of worldwide sales.

Aberdeen: 2 killed in ATV accidents

Two people were killed in separate ATV accidents over the weekend on logging roads in Grays Harbor County.

Undersheriff Rick Scott said 43-year-old Arthur Erickson of Aberdeen was killed Saturday when his four-wheel ATV struck a stump.

On Sunday evening two teens on four-wheel ATV ran off a road, killing 14-year-old Joshua Johnson of Hoquiam. The 16-year-old driver was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a head injury and is listed Monday in serious condition.

Ore.: Boy killed by 7-year-old brother

Authorities said a 7-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 9-year-old brother. The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office said the tragedy occurred Sunday afternoon at a residence about 12 miles south of Tillamook.

Idaho: Parents sue over girl’s arrest

The parents of an 8-year-old autistic girl who was arrested at her northern Idaho elementary school are suing the school district and the sheriff’s department, saying the agencies violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Spring Towry and Charles Towry, and their daughter, Evelyn, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court last week against the Lake Pend Oreille School District and the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department.

Evelyn was a third-grader at Kootenai Elementary School last year when she was handcuffed and arrested. School staffers say she spit on and inappropriately touched two instructors.

Associated Press