House votes to reduce inherited-estate taxes

WASHINGTON – The House voted Thursday to cut taxes on inherited estates and relieve thousands of heirs from paying tax collectors during the next decade. The vote, just a few months before an election with control of Congress at stake, saw majority Republicans temporarily setting aside their ambition to abolish the tax. Instead, the House voted 269-156 to exempt many more estates from taxation and blunt the impact on still others. The compromise measure now goes to the Senate.

Cheney says he may be trial witness

Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday he might have to testify in the CIA leak trial of his former chief of staff. Cheney made the comment in a CNN interview. Lewis Libby is “one of the finest men I’ve ever known,” Cheney said, then declined further comment. “I may be called as a witness.” Cheney’s state of mind is directly relevant to whether Libby lied to FBI agents and a federal grand jury about how Libby learned CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity and what he later told reporters, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has said in recently filed court papers.

Group rips laser-smoking therapy

Smokers who pay hundreds of dollars to be zapped by lasers to help them quit are victims of fraud, a watchdog group alleged Thursday in seeking a federal crackdown. Public Citizen petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to halt five companies from promoting low-power laser therapy for smoking cessation. The companies do not have FDA clearance to market the lasers for that purpose, nor is there any scientific evidence they are safe or effective, said the director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

North Carolina: Bill of Rights ruling

A federal appeals court in Raleigh agreed Thursday that North Carolina was entitled to reclaim the state’s original copy of the Bill of Rights, seized three years ago from two men in Connecticut. The document had been missing since it was stolen from the state Capitol at the end of the Civil War and privately sold to various people for nearly 140 years until antiques dealer Wayne Pratt and businessman Robert Matthews bought it in 2000 for $200,000. The copy of the document listing the rights enjoyed by United States citizens was one of 14 made in 1789.

Florida: Civil War currency sells

Two 19th-century pieces of U.S. currency, including a $100 note issued during the Civil War, have sold for $2.1 million each. An anonymous buyer purchased the bills last week from the collection of Edward and Joanne Dauer of Fort Lauderdale. The $100 note is a 1863-series gold certificate signed Dec. 13, 1866. The note was part of a series of currency the Union issued to help finance the Civil War, a Heritage Auction Galleries spokesman said. The other bill was an 1891 treasury note for $1,000.

New York: Hickey-slaying sentence

A man who noticed a hickey on his girlfriend’s neck and then killed her lover was sentenced in Rochester Wednesday to 40 years in prison. Oscar Garcia-Gual, 29, pleaded guilty to shooting Pedro Figueroa, 46, in October. He was sentenced for first-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Garcia-Gual told police that he fired after Figueroa tried to hit him with a broken bottle. Crime-scene photos showed no evidence of a bottle, police said.

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Mel Jennings sits in his structure during a point-in-time count of people facing homelessness in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Mel has had a brain and spinal surgery, and currently has been homeless for a year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Annual homeless count aims to give snapshot of housing crisis

Volunteers set out into the rain Tuesday to count all the people facing homelessness in central Everett.

Catherine Berwicks loads ballots into a tray after scanning them at the Snohomish County Elections Ballot Processing Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 in Everett, Wa.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Lawmakers push to boost voting in county jails across the state

A House bill envisions an approach similar to what’s been happening in the Snohomish County Jail for several years.

Vandalism at Seaview Park on Jan. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Edmonds Police Department)
Police seek suspects in repeated vandalism at Edmonds parks

Vandals have done over $10,000 of damage to parks across the city, including suspected arson and graffiti with hate speech.

One worker looks up from the cargo area as another works in what will be the passenger compartment on one of the first Boeing 787 jets as it stands near completion at the front of the assembly line, Monday, May 19, 2008, in Everett, Wash. The plane, the first new Boeing jet in 14 years, is targeted for power on in June followed by an anticipated first flight sometime late in 2008.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Boeing workers long-exposed to carcinogen far above legal limits

The company confirmed in depositions that parts of its Everett plant still don’t meet 2010 standards.

CarlaRae Arneson, of Lynnwood, grabs a tea press full of fresh tea from Peanut the server robot while dining with her 12-year-old son Levi at Sushi Hana on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. CarlaRae said she and her son used to visit the previous restaurant at Sushi Hana’s location and were excited to try the new business’s food. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Peanut the robot waitress is on a roll at Lynnwood’s Sushi Hana

She’s less RoboCop and more Rosey as she patrols the restaurant, making sure everyone has a drink and good time.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Boeing settles with Everett security guard claiming chemical exposure

Holly Hawthorne was assigned to Building 45-335 at the south end of Paine Field, while employees used aerosolized chemical sprays nearby.

A section of contaminated Wicks tidelands on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port acquisition marks next step in toxic cleanup on Everett waterfront

Private owners donated land near the contaminated Wicks Tide Flats to the Port of Everett. Cleanup work could begin within the year.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and the victim of a brutal attack in 2018 answer questions from reporters on Jan. 27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
White supremacists sentenced for racist beating at Lynnwood bar

A federal judge handed out stiffer sentences than prosecutors had asked for in a series of sentencing hearings Friday.

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