Nurse charged in unlicensed flu shot clinics

BELIINGHAM – Investigators still aren’t sure what was in the syringes at flu shot clinics offered at three Lynden and Blaine grocery stores last fall, but prosecutors have charged the nurse who allegedly administered them with practicing medicine without a license.

Whatcom County prosecutor Dave McEachran charged Nancy Jean Olson with injecting seven people with “a purported flu shot,” according to the charging documents. Prosecutors say Olson injected at least 130 people at grocery stores in Lynden and Blaine in November.

Olson, a Canadian, is now in British Columbia, said detective Lee Beld of the Lynden Police Department. A warrant is out for her arrest, Beld said, and authorities have asked Olson to turn herself in to police in the United States.

Olson was charged with one misdemeanor count and six felony counts of unlicensed practice of medicine.

The $30 shots were offered at the height of a nationwide shortage of flu vaccine.

Bellingham Herald

Kennewick: Teenager gets 27 years in slaying

A Tri-Cities teenager was sentenced Thursday to nearly 27 years in prison for his participation in the stabbing death of a popular Benton City teacher and coach. Benton County Superior Court Judge Robert Swisher handed down the maximum 320 month sentence to 16-year-old Robert A. Suarez, who was convicted March 11 of first-degree murder in the Sept. 4, 2004, slaying of King Robert “Bob” Mars. Mars, 44, of Richland, a veteran sixth-grade teacher and assistant football coach at Kiona-Benton High School, was stabbed in the stomach during a robbery in a hallway at the middle school where he taught. The 14-year-old boy accused of fatally stabbing Mars has pleaded innocent to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to start May 16 in Spokane.

Associated Press

Seattle: State ferry fares may increase 6%

How much will it cost to ride state ferries on June 1? It now looks like tickets will cost 6 percent more than they do now, instead of 5 percent or 7 percent. And discounts for frequent users likely will not change. The Tariff Policy Committee submitted its final proposal to the Transportation Commission at a public hearing Wednesday in Seattle. It recommended an across-the-board 6 percent fare increase that would raise $9.4 million over the next three years. The Transportation Commission will hold another public hearing April 26 to decide whether to accept the proposal. The Tariff Policy Committee initially recommended decreasing the time riders have to use frequent-user books from 90 days to 30 days and raising fares by 5 percent. Riders responded with 3,754 comments, a vast majority against the change, saying they’d never be able to use the discounted tickets in such a short time. Not implementing the changes would have resulted in a $2 million loss in fiscal years 2006 and 2007.

The Sun

Vancouver: Tolls could pay for a new I-5 bridge

Motorists had better learn to accept tolls if they want a new 10-lane I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, state Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald said Wednesday. “You ought to think very warmly about tolls for a new I-5 bridge because it’s likely that’s the only way it’s going to get done,” MacDonald said. He spoke to a group of about 100 local officials and business leaders who gathered at the state Department of Transportation regional office in Orchards for a summit on freight mobility. There’s simply not enough money to pay for needed improvements, he said Even a hike in the gas tax won’t fix all the problems, he said. A 1-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax in a year raises enough to pay for one freeway interchange, he added.

The Columbian

Richland: Hanford cleanup bid accepted

The Department of Energy awarded a $1.9 billion, seven-year contract Wednesday to Washington Closure to clean up the 210 square miles of Hanford’s Columbia River corridor. Washington Closure is owned by three contractors with decades of experience at Hanford: Washington Group International, Bechtel National and CH2M Hill. Work covers cleanup of Hanford near the outer edge of the nuclear reservation along the Columbia River from just north of Richland to the reactors that line the Columbia River almost to the Vernita Bridge. For more than 40 years, Hanford made plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program. The Department of Energy’s goal is to clean up the river corridor by 2015, and the contract award includes incentives for Washington Closure to accelerate work and finish in 2012, according to DOE.

Tri-City Herald

Oregon: Woman sues over seizure of scooter

Vicki Marie Tyler, a diabetic amputee with a medical marijuana card, says she was asleep on her couch when 13 police officers raided her Portland home looking for drugs. Though officers found less than an ounce of marijuana during the 2003 raid, they seized her electric scooter on the grounds in was bought with drug money. A jury last year acquitted Tyler of drug-dealing charges. Now Tyler is filing a federal lawsuit against the Portland Police Bureau because it kept her scooter for more than three months – until a Multnomah County judge ordered the bureau to give it back. The suit seeks $15,000 for emotional pain and suffering.

Associated Press

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