Northwest Briefly: State accuses Moneytree of skirting new payday lending law

BREMERTON — State regulators have accused Moneytree Inc. of skirting new consumer laws that limit a borrower to eight payday loans in a 12-month period.

The Department of Financial Institutions on Wednesday issued a temporary cease-and-desist order to the Renton-based payday lender.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the state ordered Moneytree to stop allowing borrowers to use and then “rescind” small loans and stick to an eight-loan limit. Rescinding the loans allows a borrower to have a clean slate.

Dennis Bassford, Moneytree’s chief executive, said he doesn’t believe the practice violates the new law but that the company has stopped the practice. He said Moneytree and the state agency are “just interpreting the statute differently.”

Vancouver, Wash.: Man sentenced in 1978 slaying

A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to 33 years and four months in prison for the 1978 slaying of a Vancouver woman.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Harris sentenced Michael Allen Hersh Friday for killing Norma Simerly. She was stabbed four times and bludgeoned in the face with firewood in her home on April 28, 1978.

After the sentencing, Simerly’s son, Brad Elliott, said “justice is served.”

The Columbian newspaper reported that police suspected Hersh of Simerly’s death when he was arrested for a similar attack on another woman in 1978. But they couldn’t link him to the killing until DNA tests were done several years ago.

Hersch is currently serving time for the 1978 assault of a Hazel Dell woman.

Wenatchee: Boy charged with rape of 8-year-old girl

Prosecutors have charged a 13-year-old Wenatchee boy with first-degree rape of a child in connection with the assault of an 8-year-old girl.

The Wenatchee World reported that the boy was charged Wednesday in Chelan County Juvenile Court.

A probable cause affidavit said Wenatchee police were called after the girl was treated for injuries at Central Washington Hospital on April 17. She told her mother that she fell on school bars, but later said her stepbrother forced himself on her.

The court document said the boy told police that he had sexual contact with the girl two other times.

Olympia: Community celebrates shellfish harvest reopening

Community members are celebrating restoration efforts that have allowed 240 acres of Henderson Inlet in south Puget Sound to reopen to shellfish harvesting.

They were at the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm Saturday to harvest oysters and recognize efforts to improve water quality.

The state Department of Health this year lifted harvest restrictions that had been in place since 2001 because of pollution.

Betsy Peabody with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund said so many people have worked to control pollution from storm-water runoff, septic systems, pet waste and farm animals.

Associated Press

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