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Girl in holdup video back in Washington

SEATTLE — A 9-year-old girl who was at her father’s side during a convenience store holdup near Ellensburg has returned to Washington state from California.

Police on Friday were still looking for 42-year-old Robert Daniel Webb, who was last seen eluding officers Wednesday night in Fortuna, Calif. He left 9-year-old Meadow Webb at the home of an acquaintance in Fortuna and the girl’s mother went to California to pick her up.

As she arrived Friday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the girl told KING-TV News that the situation has been hard and has made her sad.

On Tuesday, the robber told the clerk at an AM-PM minimart he had lost his job and needed money for his daughter. Store video showed the girl in a pink coat watching as the man beside her pulls a gun and takes about $200.

Olympia: Coal plant to reduce emissions

The state’s only coal-fired power plant will reduce its emissions and mercury pollution after reaching an agreement with state government officials.

The Olympian reports that the Alberta, Canada-based TransAlta Corp. agreed to voluntarily reduce mercury pollution by 50 percent at its Centralia plant by 2012 and slash its nitrogen oxide fumes by 20 percent this year.

The state Department of Ecology and TransAlta had been in talks since 2007, but those discussion were only recently revealed to the public recently, a development criticized by environmental groups, which claimed the public was left out of the process.

County ordered to pay $145,000 fine

A judge has ordered Mason County to pay $145,000 to a resident after it failed to turn over public documents he requested.

The Olympian newspaper reported that Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor imposed the fine last week. He previously had determined that Mason County broke the law when it failed to produce public documents about a highway project and sewer systems requested by Harold Carey of Tahuya.

Carey sent five e-mails to the county since 2006 requesting the documents, and also spoke with a public records officer. The county never responded.

County officials claimed the e-mails were inadvertently sent into a junk e-mail folder. The judge said there was no way the records officer accidentally added Carey to a blocked-senders list.

Bremerton: Hospital to trim staff

Leaders of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton say the economy and some hospital inefficiencies are forcing them to cut an unspecified number of jobs over the next two months.

The Kitsap Sun reported the medical center is Kitsap County’s largest private employer, with more than 1,900 full-time employees. Word of the layoffs came from President and CEO Scott Bosch.

Among the jobs being eliminated are the hospital’s vice president of service excellence and operations, two executive assistant posts and two other unspecified leadership jobs.

Bosch said the hospital must become more efficient. A recent study found that it is less efficient in nearly every area than similarly sized peers.

Harrison spokeswoman Patti Hart said the study found the hospital to be “overstaffed across all levels.”

Oregon: Monkeys escape from center

Employees from the Oregon National Primate Research Center are attempting to capture a small group of monkeys that escaped while their cage was being cleaned Friday afternoon.

Oregon Health &Science University spokesman Jim Newman said caretakers spotted the monkeys near the university’s west campus in Beaverton — an area near a light-rail line.

Newman said the animals retreat from humans, so they pose little danger. Threatened monkeys, however, will bite.

Associated Press

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