Northwest Briefly: Man killed in logging accident near Rockport

ROCKPORT — The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office said a man has been killed in a logging accident southwest of Rockport.

The victim was not immediately identified.

Sheriff’s chief criminal deputy Will Reichardt said the man was working Friday afternoon in a dangerous area off the Concrete-Sauk Valley Road when a piece of equipment hit him. The impact threw him down a steep ravine.

A medic crew climbed down to him but crew members were unable to retrieve his body. Reichardt said a helicopter will probably have to do that.

The state Department of Labor and Industries was notified of the death.

Seattle: Ex-Burlington mayor remains in critical condition

Former Burlington Mayor Roger “Gus” Allen Tjeerdsma remains in critical condition at a Seattle hospital.

A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center said he’s in the intensive care unit.

The 68-year-old was operating a bulldozer Thursday at a construction site in Mount Vernon when he was pulled under a tread and suffered severe injuries to his legs and pelvis.

Aide to new mayor quits over credentials

An adviser to new Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has resigned after two weeks on the job.

The Seattle Times reported Chris Bushnell admitted he exaggerated his credentials in the past about having a doctoral degree. He had a $110,000-a-year job with the city working on transportation and human services policies.

Questions about Bushnell were first raised by the Web site PubliCola.

Contractor sought to remove Elwha River dams

The National Park Service is ready to hire a contractor to remove the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reported Park Service plans to issue a request for proposals about March 31. The construction contract is expected to be awarded by the end of September. Work is scheduled to start in 2011 and finish in 2014.

The cost of removing the 210-foot Glines Canyon Dam and the 105-foot Elwha dam is estimated at $40 million to $60 million.

The Park Service has three projects to help restore the salmon river: a $16 million fish hatchery on the lower Elwha, a $24 million water treatment facility in Port Angeles and a $70 million Elwha water facilities project near Port Angeles.

Bellingham: Woman and man die in gunfire

A Bellingham woman has been fatally shot and her ex-boyfriend died a short time later in an armed confrontation with police.

Bellingham police said a neighbor reported hearing gunshots Friday morning and saw a woman shot outside a home. Tawnia Costan, 39, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Costan’s current boyfriend, Matthew Donna, told KIRO-TV he was at the house when the shooting began. He said Costan had stepped outside to talk to 55-year-old Daniel Salas.

Police spokesman Mark Young said Salas returned to his own residence after the woman was shot. Young says an officer arriving there confronted Salas, who was armed, and shots were fired. Salas died at the scene.

Young said the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Salas’ death and will determine whether he died from police gunfire or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The officer who fired is a 20-year Bellingham police veteran. Young said he has been placed on administrative leave while the death is investigated.

Autopsies on Salas and Costan are scheduled Monday.

Port Angeles: Dog bites boy; father is arrested

An 11-year-old boy is recovering from dog bite wounds after a mauling that resulted in his father being arrested in Port Angeles.

KONP reported the boy was bitten at his home Wednesday while his father was away. A neighbor called police.

The boy was treated at a local hospital and then taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was treated and released Thursday.

While the dog was being loaded into a Humane Society van it broke away and was at large until Friday morning.

Meanwhile, police looking for the father determined he was suspected of stealing a van, so he was taken into custody when he was located in downtown Port Angeles.

Olympia: 165 school districts seek $4.6 billion in levies

A total of 165 school districts in Washington are asking voters to approve more than $4.6 billion in property taxes for maintenance and operation levies in Tuesday’s election.

The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction also is tracking 32 districts with capital project levies worth $835 million. Also, four districts with $2.9 million with school bus levies, and 11 districts with $859 million with bond issues.

Meanwhile, a King County judge on Thursday ruled that the state of Washington depends too much on local levies to pay for the cost of basic education. Lawmakers in Olympia are working to reform the way the state finances K-12 education.

Gregoire leading governors’ security council

Gov. Chris Gregoire is one of 10 governors appointed by the president to a homeland security council focused on the National Guard.

The Democrat is co-chair of the council along with Republican Jim Douglas of Vermont.

The council arose from questions raised by Hurricane Katrina about the role of the military in U.S. disasters.

State Senate allows more professionals to dispense medical marijuana

More medical professionals will be allowed to authorize the use of medical marijuana for qualified patients under a measure approved by the Washington state Senate.

On a 37-11 vote Friday, the Senate passed a bill that adds physician assistants, naturopaths and others to the list of those who can officially recommend marijuana for patients under the state’s medical marijuana law. Under current law, only physicians are allowed to write the recommendation.

The measure now heads to the House for further consideration.

Yakima: State prison for disabled closing

The state has started shutting down the Ahtanum View Corrections Center near Yakima, one of several prisons being closed to save money.

The Department of Corrections started moving prisoners this week, and the population of 125 is down to 75.

KAPP-TV reported about 80 employees will lose their jobs when the prison is closed this spring.

The minimum-security prison opened 25 years ago to house elderly and disabled offenders.

Spokane Valley: Woman hurt, dog killed by pit bulls

A woman walking her dog in Spokane Valley has been injured by two pit bulls that killed her pet.

KHQ-TV reported the woman’s dog got away from her Friday and ran into a yard where it was attacked by the two other dogs.

The woman tried to intervene and was injured. Her dog died. She was taken to a hospital with what authorities describe as non life-threatening injuries.

Kirkland: School edits “Snow White”

Laughing at put-downs is something the adults at Kirkland’s Robert Frost Elementary work hard to discourage through the school’s human-dignity and anti-bullying policies.

So when they realized a school production of “Snow White in the Black Forest” would contain a character named “DimWitty” making the crazy gesture of rotating an index finger near the ear, the principal and some teachers requested some editing.

Some parents are upset about the tinkering. But Principal Sue Anne Sullivan said she and several teachers decided the put-downs are excessive or inappropriate.

The fairy tale by Seattle director Lani Brockman was her second choice for this year’s play. She first proposed, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but the school demanded too many changes.

From Herald news services

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