Northwest briefly: Yakima won’t act on sexy coffee stands

  • Fri Feb 19th, 2010 9:50pm
  • News

YAKIMA — The Yakima City Council voted down proposed restrictions on sexy coffee stands.

The vote at Thursday’s special meeting was 4-3 against an adult business ordinance putting new restrictions on espresso stand signs and behavior.

Mayor Micah Cawley said the city has bigger things to deal with — drugs, gangs and crime. KAPP reports the mayor hopes coffee stand owners will regulate themselves.

The city has received complaints about indecent exposure and baristas dancing for tips.

Firm recalls 3 cheeses

A Yakima company said Friday it is recalling three types of Mexican-style soft cheeses sold in Washington and Oregon. An Oregon official said the cheese has been linked to five illnesses.

Cheeses labeled Queso Fresco, Panela and Requeson are being recalled because they are potentially contaminated with listeria, Queseria Bendita said in a statement.

There has been one confirmed illness in Washington related to the product and other illnesses in Washington and Oregon may be related, the company said.

Two pregnant Oregon women were sickened by listeria after eating the cheese, William Keene, a senior epidemiologist with the Oregon Public Health Division, told The Oregonian. Their two babies were delivered slightly prematurely because of fetal distress, he added. Keane said the four Oregon residents as well as a Washington resident were hospitalized.

The cheeses have been sold at Queseria Bendita’s retail store and were distributed in Washington and Oregon, where they are sold in Hispanic markets. A public health investigation of the illness led to cheese testing, which showed contamination with listeria, the company said.

Olympia: Mayor pro tem takes leave after pot bust

Olympia Mayor Pro Tem Joe Hyer has placed himself on leave following his arrest for investigation of marijuana trafficking.

In a statement to The Olympian newspaper, Hyer declined to discuss his pending legal matters, but said he hopes the public affords him the presumption of innocence. He says he’ll be on personal leave for the next few weeks.

Thurston County Sheriff Dan Kimball said Hyer was arrested Thursday at his home, after a confidential informant twice purchased marijuana from him.

Hyer is an Olympia City Council member. He was appointed mayor pro tem by other councilmembers, to stand in if elected Mayor Doug Mah is unavailable.

Earlier this week, county commissioners informally chose Hyer to succeed Robin Hunt as county treasurer. Hyer told The Olympian he’s unsure if he’ll go through with that, and would abide by whatever county commissioners decide.

State high court to travel to Skagit County

The state Supreme Court will travel next week to hear cases and meet with students at Skagit Valley College’s Mount Vernon campus.

The nine justices will have lunch with students and speak to classes on Monday, and then hear arguments on three cases on Tuesday.

The court sessions will be at McIntyre Hall Performing Arts &Conference Center and are open to the public.

Seattle: Woman’s body found after 7 weeks

A woman died in her room at the downtown Seattle YWCA and her body went undiscovered for seven weeks before it was found.

YWCA managers say the staff thought India Valdez was out of town visiting relatives. Finally she was reported missing to police who found the body Jan. 12 on the floor behind a bed.

Because of the death, the YWCA said it has created a buddy system, and all tenants are being asked to sign a consent form to allow staff to conduct weekly checks. Valdez reportedly died of natural causes. An open window in her room prevented others from noticing the smell.

Son of late ‘Deadliest Catch’ captain arrested

Washington state troopers have arrested a son of a recently deceased “Deadliest Catch” fish boat captain for investigation of drunken driving.

Trooper Dan McDonald said Jake Harris was arrested Thursday night in Seattle after the State Patrol received calls about an erratically driven BMW on Interstate 5.

Harris is a son of the late Phil Harris, who was captain of the crab fishing vessel Cornelia Marie on the Discovery Channel show. Phil Harris died Feb. 9 in Alaska after suffering a stroke. Jake Harris has appeared on the show as a deckhand.

A State Patrol airplane directed troopers to the car’s location. Harris was arrested for investigation of DUI and driving with a suspended license.

McDonald sayid a car matching the description of Harris’ vehicle was involved in a hit and run accident earlier Thursday evening. A family spokesman told KIRO-TV that Jake Harris was booked into the King County Jail on Thursday night but says Harris was not intoxicated and did not hit another car.

11 Redmond students arrested in drug bust

Police have arrested 11 students at Redmond High School in a drug bust.

Police spokesman Jim Bove said the students are accused of selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and prescription drugs on and off the campus.

Friday’s arrests are the result of an undercover investigation conducted with the cooperation of school administrators.

Restaurateur gets 6 months in prison

An owner of a chain of Seattle-area restaurants called Thai Ginger has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty in an immigration fraud case.

Varee Bradford admitted she recruited U.S. citizens to engage in sham marriages with her relatives and Thai nationals who worked for her — thus enabling them to remain in the country.

The U.S. attorney’s office said that U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez told her during the sentencing Friday that she mocked the efforts of immigrants who work hard and wait years to obtain citizenship.

Bradford set up a handful of marriages from 2002 to 2007 in which the U.S. citizens were paid $20,000. One of those citizens was an undercover federal agent.

Prosecutors say Bradford was also investigated by the U.S. Labor Department for forcing employees to work unpaid overtime. She agreed to pay almost $80,000 in back wages.

Lawyer defends bus tunnel beating victim

The lawyer for the 15-year-old girl who was beaten in a Seattle bus tunnel attack said the fact she has been arrested twice in the past year for assaults has no connection to the Jan. 28 incident.

Attorney James Bible told The Seattle Times that Aiesha Steward-Baker’s arrests don’t mean she’s a thug or someone less worthy of police protection.

Video of the bus tunnel incident shows her being hit and kicked by another girl in a group as security guards stood by. Police have arrested five suspects.

Steward-Baker was given a deferred sentence last September after she pleaded guilty to attempted robbery for hitting a security guard who stopped her friend from shoplifting. Steward-Baker is one of two girls charged in a May purse-snatching.

Fire crews rescue man stuck in Seattle chimney

Firefighters have rescued a 23-year-old man who got himself stuck in the chimney of a large Seattle home for about three hours.

Seattle police said neighbors heard the man yelling for help Friday. He reportedly got stuck about five feet into the chimney in the Seward Park neighborhood.

The man was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police say he had no legal right to be in the home and he’ll be booked into jail.

Residents of the home were away.

South Bend: Arraignment in trooper shooting

The man accused of shooting a Washington State Patrol trooper in the head at Long Beach could face life in prison if convicted.

Pacific County Prosecutor David Burke said Martin Jones was arraigned Friday in South Bend on charges of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault. Jones entered not guilty pleas and his bail was continued at $5 million.

He’s accused of shooting Trooper Scott Johnson early Saturday as the trooper was impounding a van that had been driven by Jones’ wife. She was accused of drunken driving.

Jones also is accused of shooting at a tow truck driver.

Johnson survived and still has bullet fragments in his head. He has sued Jones for $3 million.

The prosecutor is alleging aggravating cirumstances in the attempted murder charge. Should Jones be convicted that could lead to an exceptional sentence of life in prison.

Spokane: Former BIA investigator wins lawsuit

A man who was fired after he investigated police corruption on the Spokane Indian Reservation has won a $400,000 lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs for malicious prosecution.

Senior Federal Judge Justin Quackenbush ruled in favor of Duane Garvais, who claimed he was prosecuted by the agency at the behest of the Spokane Tribe.

Garvais was hired by the BIA in 1999 as a criminal investigator and assigned to the Spokane Reservation. In 2001, he learned that two fellow officers were stealing car stereos and other equipment. The BIA launched a criminal investigation of Garvais and he was eventually prosecuted in Spokane Tribal Court.

Toledo: Boy, 8, finds human remains

The Lewis County sheriff’s office said an 8-year-old boy out playing Thursday at Toledo found skeletal remains.

Detectives are on the scene Friday to conduct a thorough search of the property.

Port Ludlow: Cougar killed after bull attacked

A Washington state Fish and Wildlife agent said a large male cougar believed to have killed a bull on the Olympic Peninsula has been tracked with hounds and fatally shot.

Sgt. Phil Henry said the cougar killed Thursday weighed 155 pounds, ranking it among the biggest he’s seen.

Marilee Liske told the Peninsula Daily News her husband found the dead Holstein bull when he went to feed the family’s cattle Wednesday morning. She said it had been killed, dragged a ways and buried.

Henry estimates the cougar was 5 years old.

From Herald news services