Northwest briefly: State insures Tacoma Narrows Bridge for $500 million

TACOMA — The state Transportation Department is paying $2.7 million this year for an insurance policy for the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

It would pay up to $500 million if the bridge is damaged by an earthquake or terrorism.

That’s about half the estimated replacement cost for the bridge that cost $628 million to build when it opened last year.

The insurance policy is paid with money from bridge tolls. The state expects to collect $60 million in tolls in the year beginning in July.

The state doesn’t insure most bridges, and there is no insurance for the older Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Associated Press

Seattle: Firefighter falls from window

A Seattle firefighter who fell 15 feet out a window broke a wrist and suffered cuts and bruises.

Fire department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said he was in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center. The 58-year-old is a 38-year veteran of the department.

He fell while searching a smoke-filled room early Tuesday at an apartment fire.

A man who lives in the apartment suffered burns on his hands and leg and also is at Harborview. The man’s wife and two children escaped the flames.

Fitzpatrick says the fire was caused by an overloaded extension cord. Damage to the apartment is estimated at $60,000. The Red Cross is helping the displaced family.

Associated Press

Seattle mayor wants more cameras in parks

Three surveillance cameras have been trained on Cal Anderson Park in Seattle since February, and Mayor Greg Nickels wants to install cameras at three more downtown parks to curtail graffiti, drug dealing and illicit sex.

The American Civil Liberties Union is concerned about the privacy of innocent citizens.

A City Council committee Tuesday it taking up the question of who watches the park surveillance video and how long it is kept.

The cameras are monitored by police at a precinct dispatch center; officers can tilt and pan the cameras to check out 911 calls.

Officials says the video would be kept for only two weeks unless needed as evidence.

Associated Press

Richland: Fight over basket leads to arrests

An apparent dispute over a laundry basket landed two Richland men in jail after a neighbor was stabbed in the chest.

Zachary Dean, 19, was taken to the Kadlec Medical Center with a 1-inch stab wound and was later released, said Richland police detective Roy Shepherd.

The stabbing happened just before 2 a.m. Monday at the apartments where all three men live.

Alcohol was involved, Shepherd said.

Jeremy Zlatnik, 29, reportedly confronted Dean about a laundry basket that was missing. A fight started, but it was broken up.

The two somehow got into an argument again downstairs at Zlatnik’s apartment, and that’s when Ryan Nelson, 28, allegedly walked out of his apartment with a large knife and stabbed Dean.

Nelson was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault.

Zlatnik also was jailed for investigation of fourth-degree assault.

Tri-City Herald

D.C.: House OKs new wilderness area

The House has approved a bill to create federal wilderness protection for 13,000 acres of national forest along Oregon’s southern coast.

The new Copper Salmon Wilderness was approved Tuesday on a voice vote. The bill would protect nearly 13,000 acres of forest and streams at the headwaters of the Elk River near Port Orford.

The proposed wilderness, in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, is considered one of the best habitats on the West Coast for chinook salmon, winter steelhead, coho salmon, cutthroat trout and rainbow trout.

Rep. Peter DeFazio calls Copper Salmon a “coastal Oregon gem” that deserves protection for future generations.

A similar bill is pending in the Senate.

Associated Press

Oregon: Job applicant accused of theft

A man who apparently was applying for a job at a carpet store in Hermiston, Ore., instead ended up stealing $200 from the cash register, police said.

Hermiston police were called about the theft around 1:15 p.m. Monday at Cost Less Carpet

Officers learned a man had stolen money from the register and taken off in a red sedan, Lt. Jason Edmiston said.

Manuel Flores, 19, of Boardman, was identified as a suspect within an hour, and officers began searching for him.

Flores, however, called the police department around 3:30 p.m. to report his 1990 Toyota Celica had been stolen.

He was arrested at 4:15 p.m. with the help of Boardman police officers. Flores was booked into the Umatilla County jail on suspicion of second-degree theft and initiating a false report.

Tri-City Herald

Las Vegas: Showgirls to visit Seattle

Tourism officials are sending showgirls on a glitz blitz to Seattle and four other U.S. cities this week, hoping to draw attention and visitors to Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is sending sequined showgirls out Thursday for photo opportunities at iconic attractions in Chicago, Denver, San Diego and San Francisco, in addition to Seattle.

In Seattle, the showgirls will visit a ferry and a coffee shop.

Officials say the images will be posted on the authority’s Web site.

Associated Press

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