Injured trooper showing signs of improvement

SEATTLE – A state trooper injured in a high-speed crash on I-5 was responding to commands and showing signs of improvement Sunday but remained in critical condition, officials said.

The trooper was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with multiple injuries, including swelling of the brain, a lacerated lung and a broken hip, Bassett said.

A Harborview nursing supervisor reached Sunday said the trooper remained in critical condition, but she could release no other information.

The crash happened Saturday when the trooper was pursuing a speeding silver Mercedes on I-5 near Kent, south of Seattle, a state patrol dispatcher said.

The Mercedes was going 100 mph when the trooper swerved to avoid another vehicle that had pulled into his path, the dispatcher said.

Associated Press

Olympia: Phone costs for prisoners to drop

In-state long-distance phone calls will soon be much cheaper for prisoners and their families in Washington.

Critics have long complained that the state’s current rates are too high, weighing heavily on people struggling to stay in touch with loved ones behind bars.

Under the existing contract with AT&T, a 20-minute call from Airway Heights to Tacoma costs about $22, Department of Corrections spokesman Gary Larson said.

Under the new system, set to be in place by midsummer, the same call will cost a flat rate of $3.15 or $3.50, depending on whether it’s a collect call or paid out of new inmate phone accounts.

“This is critical,” said Lisa Young, an Arlington woman whose longtime boyfriend is serving a prison sentence in Monroe. She said she’s spending about $200 a month to stay in touch with him.

Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, a national inmate-advocacy group, said Washington is currently tied with Arizona for the highest prison phone costs in America.

Associated Press

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