Snoqualmie Pass accidents kill 1, injure 2 others

NORTH BEND — A climber was killed and a hiker and a mountain biker were injured in separate incidents Saturday in the Snoqualmie Pass area, the King County Sheriff’s Office said.

The climber was killed after falling 600 feet down Chair Peak in the Alpental ski area, about 40 miles southeast of Seattle, KING-TV reported. His name and hometown were not immediately available.

A female hiker who suffered a dislocated knee on the Rock Creek Trail to Snow Lake was rescued by an Army helicopter from Fort Lewis. A helicopter on the scene earlier did not have enough fuel to land and pick her up. The hiker, identified as Marylin Liepert, was taken to a hospital early Saturday evening.

A mountain biker also was hospitalized Saturday after breaking his collarbone in a fall on the John Wayne Trail, near the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

Starbucks lawsuit: A lawsuit claims Starbucks Corp. added the stimulant ephedrine to its tea without warning consumers. The Seattle-based coffee giant put the chemical in its Tazo Chai Tea product without approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the lawsuit filed by the newly formed Berkley, Calif.-based Council for Education and Research on Toxics. The 20-page suit, filed Thursday in a Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks an injunction barring use of the additive. It does not seek cash damages. Starbucks officials did not immediately returns calls Saturday seeking comment.

Harassment charge: A Department of Social and Health Services official who handled sexual harassment complaints in Eastern Washington will be fired for harassing his secretary, agency officials said. Chuck Wendt, who oversaw human resources in the office here, which oversees 4,300 DSHS employees, denies any misconduct and plans to fight the decision. His former secretary, Shelly Phillips, told investigators Wendt harassed her from May 1998, when she was hired, until her complaint was investigated. She contends he propositioned her, asked about her sexual habits and fondled her. When she asked him to stop, Phillips said Wendt criticized her work and told co-workers to avoid her.

Fallen trooper honored: Police officers from around the state and the nation gathered in Salem Saturday at services to honor Oregon State Police senior trooper Maria Mignano who was killed Tuesday on I-5 while helping a stranded driver and family. Mignano marks the 27th state police trooper, and the first woman, to die in the line of duty since 1931. Mignano, 39, was struck and killed by a pickup that left the freeway as she was helping a family with a disabled van. So far it appears the pickup’s driver had fallen asleep. The pickup also struck and killed off-duty Albany Police officer Jason Hoerauf, 29, and left OSP Sgt. John Burright, 41, in critical condition.

From Herald news services

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