Northwest Briefly: Gregoire named a ‘public official of the year’

Gov. Chris Gregoire is on Governing magazine’s November cover, honored by the insiders’ national publication as one of the nation’s top public officials.

Gregoire, the only governor on the list of nine officials, is cited for her work on government accountability and her “negotiator-in-chief” style of dealing with tough problems. The magazine calls her a “deft and inclusive dealmaker” and says Gregoire runs one of the most open state governments in the country.

The magazine touted her Government Management Accountability and Performance Program, which tracks agencies’ progress on public safety, child abuse and other issues.

Gregoire, who will attend an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, said the magazine is honoring the idea that “government should be accountable, open and accessible to citizens.”

Port Orchard: Former pastor charged in rape

A former Kitsap County pastor accused of sexual abuse by former church members has been charged with eight felony counts of child rape and child molestation.

In a Kitsap County Superior Court appearance Thursday, Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charges stem from incidents that prosecutors say involved five victims between 1994 and 2006. In all, seven women and girls have accused him of molesting or raping them while he served as pastor.

Dayton: Robert Shields, detailed diarist, dies

The Rev. Robert Shields, a retired schoolteacher and minister whose massive diary detailed everything from his dreams and bodily functions to his grocery store receipts, is dead at 89.

Shields, whose 3,000- to 4,000-word daily output for more than 20 years gained worldwide attention in the mid-1990s, died Oct. 15 of complications following a series of strokes, according to Hubbard-Rogg Funeral Home, which handled memorial arrangements.

“Everything I do, everything I eat, everything I wear, everything I read, everywhere I go, everything I think or dream … just everything,” was entered in the diary from 1972 to 1996, when a stroke hampered his ability to type, Shields told Oprah Winfrey on her show in 1997.

“If an eccentric is a kook, I guess I’m a kook,” he told the Tri-City Herald in 1995.

Associated Press

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