Evacuation plan for Seattle gets low marks

SEATTLE – The Department of Homeland Security on Friday rated Washington state and the greater Seattle area sufficient or partly sufficient in all categories of catastrophic disaster planning except one: evacuation from Seattle.

Evacuation is a good strategy for an impending storm, which can be seen approaching for days, said Barb Graff, Seattle’s emergency planning director.

But in this city, a catastrophic disaster likely would involve a major earthquake. “Our challenge would be getting resources to the area after,” using a relatively fragile transportation system, Graff said.

Planners around the country were asked about preparedness for a catastrophic, Katrina-level disaster, which in the Northwest would likely be an earthquake far stronger than those that rattled the area in 1949, 1965 and 2001.

The past three big quakes were manageable, Graff said, but the region would be in trouble with a Katrina-level disaster – “if we had to evacuate a third of our state’s population, if 90,000 square miles were uninhabitable for months.”

The city was rated sufficient in four of the nine categories – basic plan, direction and control, communications and public information. It was rated partially sufficient in four others: warning, mass care, health and medical, and resource management.

The state was rated sufficient in its basic plan and communications, and partially sufficient in the seven other categories.

Human remains found in 1993 are identified

Human remains discovered near North Bend in 1993 have been identified as belonging to Elsa Anderson, 34, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, who had been living in the Seattle at the time of her disappearance in 1988.

Anderson’s death is being investigated as a homicide, the King County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. In Seattle, Anderson had been arrested several times for prostitution.

But the sheriff’s office said it was unlikely that Anderson was a victim of Green River killer Gary Ridgway, and that Ridgway never mentioned Anderson after his arrest.

The case was unsolved until this year, when the FBI in January passed along information from Anderson’s half-sister to the sheriff’s office. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Violent Crimes Review Team then reopened the case.

Seatac: Letourneau’s husband sentenced

Vili Fualaau, who married his former sixth-grade teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau, was sentenced Friday in Municipal Court to a year in jail for drunken driving, with the time suspended except for one day.

Fualaau, 23, was pulled over for speeding Dec. 22 in Seatac. A breathalyzer test found a blood-alcohol level of 0.136, well above the 0.08 state limit for drivers.

He must serve one day in jail or 15 days of home detention, said Mark Johnsen, senior assistant city attorney.

Fualaau also must pay court costs of about $2,100, including a $350 fine.

He will be on probation for two years, Johnsen said, and his car will be equipped with an ignition-interlock device that will not allow him to start it unless his blood-alcohol level is below 0.025.

The 1999 Cadillac he was driving was registered to Letourneau.

Olympia: McGavick got millions as he left Safeco

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McGavick collected more than $28 million upon leaving his post as an insurance executive earlier this year, financial disclosures showed Friday.

Most of that 2006 compensation from Safeco Insurance Co. was stock and options, his campaign said. McGavick had served as the firm’s chief executive since 2001, leaving early this year after a two-month transition period.

Washington state Democrats pounced on the tally, calling it proof that their federal complaint about McGavick’s “golden parachute” was on the mark.

McGavick’s campaign dismissed that allegation as baseless. “They see the race getting close and these are very typical tactics, so we’re not surprised,” spokeswoman Julie Sund said.

McGavick’s 2006 Safeco compensation, detailed in reports provided to The Associated Press, includes about $23 million in stock and options. McGavick also collected a bonus of about $2.3 million for his work in 2005, the campaign said.

Idaho: Man charged in wife’s decapitation

An Idaho man charged with beheading his wife, then causing an accident that killed a Boise woman and her 4-year-old daughter, was on a suicide mission, prosecutors said Friday.

Alofa Time, 50, of Nampa, was charged Friday in suburban Canyon County, west of Boise, with first degree-murder in the decapitation of his estranged wife, 47-year-old Theresa Time. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Theresa Time’s headless body was found after Alofa Time, carrying the severed head in his Dodge Ram pickup, deliberately swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a sedan carrying Samantha Nina Murphy and her two daughters. The impact of the crash caused the head to fly onto the roadway.

Thursday’s collision killed Murphy, 36, and daughter Jae Lynne Grimes, 4, both of Boise.

Associated Press

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