Northwest Briefly: Woman files suit under new state domestic violence law

MOSES LAKE — An Eastern Washington woman has filed suit against her former employer, claiming the company failed to provide time off to deal with a domestic violence case and ultimately fired her.

Attorney Eric Gutierrez of Columbia Legal Services said this is the first case under the state’s 2008 Domestic Violence Leave Act. The law requires employers to give employees reasonable time off to attend court and ensure their family’s safety if they are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

The woman, who filed suit under the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Grant Count Superior Court against Genie Industries Inc., which is based in Redmond but has a manufacturing facility in Moses Lake.

Company officials did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Seattle: King County Jail inmate’s death ruled a suicide

The King County medical examiner’s office said the hanging death of a 45-year-old King County Jail inmate was a suicide.

Commander William Hayes said the man was being held on a fugitive warrant from Florida. He was booked on Aug. 26.

Alerted by other inmates, jail staff responded to the man’s cell early Saturday morning. He was rushed to Harborview Medical Center, where he died Monday.

Gates Foundation cuts deal to build a new Seattle street

The Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation has made a deal with the city of Seattle to build a new street around its new campus rather than allow the city to tunnel under the property.

The new Sixth Avenue will connect Mercer Street to the deep-bore tunnel replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

KING-TV reported the foundation has agreed to pay $8 million for excavation work and a land swap. That would make the route around the foundation campus the cheaper alternative.

The agreement would keep a city street away from the foundation’s yet-to-be built third building. It gives it land for a garage entrance and it avoids a threatened lawsuit.The plan will be presented to the Seattle City Council on Tuesday.

Spokane: Medical maijuana raid in Spokane County

A Spokane Valley medical marijuana dispensary has been raided, with law officers seizing six ounces of the drug there, and 243 plants from the owner’s home.

The business was opened last December by Paul Ellis, who was licensed by the city of Spokane Valley to operate the dispensary.

Spokane County detectives executed a search warrant there earlier this month and seized his business records.

Detectives said Washington law allows a person holding a medical marijuana exemption to grow 15 plants for his or her own use, or for a designated caregiver of a person holding an exemption to have 15 plants for the patient, not both.

Spokane: Officials look for a third breeding wolf pack

Washington wildlife officials are scouting for what could be the state’s third breeding wolf pack.

The Spokesman-Review said an agency wolf specialist recently trapped and radio-collared a 50-pound young wolf in Pend Oreille County near the Canada border. Now officials are going to follow the animal to see if it came from a den in British Columbia or Washington.

A breeding pack was confirmed farther south in Pend Oreille County last year.

The number of confirmed breeding packs in the state eventually could change the wolf’s endangered species status. A state wolf management plan is expected to be released this winter.

Leavenworth: Sanctuary agrees to take bear cubs

A Washington state bear specialist said a McCall, Idaho, wildlife shelter has agreed to take two 8-month-old orphan black bear cubs for the winter.

Rich Beausoleil of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said the Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary will keep the cubs until spring, when the Washington agency will retrieve them and release them back into the wild once other bears begin to emerge from their dens in north-central Washington.

The Leavenworth-area man who killed their mother last Friday was not cited. But Beausoleil said the shooting was avoidable because bird seed and pet food attracted the bears to the property.

Tacoma: New commander picked for Lewis-McChord

The Department of Defense has named a new commanding general for I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced Monday that President Barack Obama nominated Army Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti for promotion to lieutenant general. The News Tribune reported Scaparrotti has been assigned to run Army operations at the joint Army-Air Force base south of Tacoma.

He most recently served as commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Ferndale: Teachers return to classroom with contract

School in Ferndale begins Tuesday as teachers go back to school with a new contract.

Classes were canceled for three days last week after teachers voted to go on strike.

On Monday, the Ferndale District School Board voted to approve the three-year contract, which was unanimously approved by the teachers union on Saturday.

The Bellingham Herald reported that the district made concessions on health care and teacher preparation time, while the union accepted a district pay offer.

Walla Walla: Boy, 1, dies in apparent accidental shooting

A Walla Walla County sheriff’s officer said a 1-year-old boy has died in an apparently accidental shooting.

Sheriff’s Capt. Bill White said little Dmitry Khomenko was inside a shed used to store bee hives on Monday when his 5-year-old brother picked up a .22-caliber rifle. The officer says the weapon discharged, hitting the little boy and his mother, Yelena Khomenko. She suffered superficial wounds. The injured boy was rushed to St. Mary Medical Center but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Pullman: WSU reports record enrollment

Washington State University is reporting record enrollment this fall, with 25,996 students at its four campuses.

That’s less than one percent above last fall’s enrollment total.

Enrollment at the main Pullman campus surpassed the 20,000 mark for the first time this fall, with 20,060 students, up from 19,944 in 2009. Pullman figures include distance students served by the Pullman campus. Contributing to Pullman’s enrollment growth was a 5.5 percent increase in the number of graduate students.

Richland: Former Richland doctor’s license suspended

A former Richland anesthesiologist’s license has been suspended for unprofessional conduct.

The state Medical Quality Assurance Commission has found that Dr. Lloyd V. Olson touched the breasts of two unconscious women just before surgery. He said he was checking to see if they had breast implants because he was concerned whether the right patients were on the operating table.

The Tri-City Herald reported Olson’s licenses to practice in Washington and Colorado were suspended in May.

Associated Press

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