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Today's news index
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


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Local News

Ex-partner’s lawsuit against Colacurcios gets under way
A King County Superior Court jury began hearing testimony Tuesday in a lawsuit pitting an aging strip-club magnate against his former business partners over damages he claims to have suffered when the federal government shut down the Colacurcio family’s adult-entertainment empire. Tue, 4/15
 
Former Bonney Lake man to be awarded Medal of Honor
Kyle J. White, a former resident of Bonney Lake, will be awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House next month for heroic actions in an effort to save his comrades during a 2007 ambush in Afghanistan. Tue, 4/15
 
Under the microscope: Metro’s big transit vote
In the April 22 mail ballot, King County voters are being asked to increase their sales taxes and their car tabs to fund Metro Transit and fix roads. As the campaign enters its last week, here’s an assessment of some arguments being made on both sides. Tue, 4/15
 
Mayor to wage panel: Reach a deal on $15 plan or I’ll do it
If his Income Inequality Advisory Committee can’t break its current impasse, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he will announce his own proposal for a $15 minimum wage on April 24. Tue, 4/15
 
Nephew held in slaying of Bellevue woman
A judge set bail at $2 million for a 53-year-old Bellevue man accused of slaying his aunt. Tue, 4/15
 
One-lane road may spell relief from long Highway 530 detour
It could be months before Highway 530 is reopened between Arlington and Darrington, but a temporary direct route might be available sooner. Tue, 4/15
 
Possible misdemeanor charges against 2 firefighters, woman in attack on homeless man
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office will be reviewing possible misdemeanor charges against two city firefighters and a woman accused in an attack on a homeless man in Pioneer Square last month.  Tue, 4/15
 
Pot vending machines in stores gets a sniff from state board
Washington state is considering allowing pot vending machines in its recreational-pot shops, letting shoppers who are shy or in a hurry bypass the clerk at the register. Tue, 4/15
 
Revamped bike plan to have separated lanes, back-street routes
The Seattle City Council will overhaul its Bicycle Master Plan, to provide separated bike lanes as well as a network of calm back-street routes known as greenways. Tue, 4/15
 
Wanapum Dam fish ladders extended in time for migration
The fish ladders at the cracked Wanapum Dam have been extended to help migrating salmon reach spawning grounds, a concern after water was lowered behind the dam for safety reasons. Tue, 4/15
 

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Nation & World

UPDATE - 06:27 AM
Man charged with marathon hoax due in court
A man who authorities say was taken into custody near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker on the anniversary of the deadly pressure cooker bombings is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
292 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster
A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
Combat vehicles in east Ukraine fly Russian flag
A column of armored vehicles flying Russian flags drove into a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia insurgents Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:22 AM
NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the alliance's chief said Wednesday. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:24 AM
Alleged serial killings highlight GPS limits
Franc Cano and Steven Dean Gordon proved not once, but allegedly twice, that GPS trackers -- the electronic leashes worn by 100,000 freed criminals in the U.S. -- aren't foolproof. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT
Anxious students -- not to mention their parents -- can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
End of NYPD Muslim surveillance program applauded
Muslim groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the decision by New York Police Department officials to disband a controversial unit that tracked the daily lives of Muslims as part of efforts to detect terrorism threats, but they said there were concerns about whether other problematic practices remained in place. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:15 AM
Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
Authorities say a toddler has been reunited with his mother after employees found him playing inside a claw crane machine at a Nebraska bowling alley. Wed, 4/16
 
NEW - 04:27 AM
Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly
Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for President Barack Obama and Democrats in the fall election unless the president acts boldly and soon to curb deportations and allow more immigrants to remain legally in the U.S. Wed, 4/16
 
NEW - 04:27 AM
Obama seeks inmates worthy of commutation power
President Barack Obama is looking for convicts worthy of his rarely used power to commute sentences. Wed, 4/16
 
NEW - 04:27 AM
Texas candidate faces thorny death penalty choice
The death penalty is like gun rights in Texas politics: Candidates don't dare get in the way of either. But Republican Greg Abbott, the favorite to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, must soon make a decision as attorney general that could disrupt the nation's busiest death chamber. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
If filed, plane lawsuits might not get heard in US
Since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, some lawyers have claimed they can get several millions of dollars in damages for each lost passenger by taking the cases to the United States. But past lawsuits show U.S. federal courts are more likely to throw such cases out if the crashes happened overseas. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
Sub makes 2nd dive to search for Malaysian plane
As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:24 AM
2 ships collide, cargo ship grounded in Virginia
Two vessels collided in a main shipping channel and a 751-foot cargo ship ran aground in the lower Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday in high winds gusting up to 70 mph, the Coast Guard said. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:27 AM
Jordanian jets strike vehicles on Syrian border
Jordanian military warplanes struck a convoy of vehicles as they were trying to enter Jordan from Syria, the army said in a statement Wednesday, in an unusual move at a time of tensions between the desert kingdom and Damascus. Wed, 4/16
 
Afghan policeman shoots, wounds female lawmaker
An Afghan policeman has opened fire and wounded a female lawmaker in the country's capital, Kabul, during what authorities described as a "dispute" between the two. Wed, 4/16
 
Detroit strikes 2nd deal with its other retirees
The city of Detroit reached tentative agreements to preserve pensions for retired police office and firefighters but cut monthly payments for other former employees, key deals that could accelerate the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history, officials said Tuesday. Wed, 4/16
 
Many questions about mom accused in infant deaths
Investigators are reconstructing a mysterious decade from Megan Huntsman's life as they try to figure out how she concealed seven pregnancies before allegedly strangling or suffocating her newborns. Wed, 4/16
 
Official: Iran will not discuss missile program
Tehran will not discuss its ballistic missiles as part of ongoing talks with world powers on a final agreement to curb the Iranian nuclear program, the country's defense minister said Wednesday. Wed, 4/16
 
Police say 5 dead in Calgary stabbings
A recent graduate of the University of Calgary was charged in the fatal stabbing of five people at a house party that the police chief called the worst mass slaying in the western Canadian city's history. Wed, 4/16
 
Sub makes 2nd dive to search for Malaysian plane
As a robotic submarine dove into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. Wed, 4/16
 
Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths
A white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City was brought into a video conference room in a wheelchair Tuesday to make his first court appearance. Wed, 4/16
 
Former Mayor Bloomberg plans a $50M challenge to the NRA
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence. Tue, 4/15
 
Kansas shooting suspect had been in witness protection, records suggest
The federal government appears to have shielded murder suspect Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, in the early 1990s as part of its witness-protection program, potentially providing money for his family — and causing lingering confusion over his name. Tue, 4/15
 
Poll: Christie regaining, but Clinton trounces entire GOP field
According to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll, Gov. Chris Christie has regained some strength, but Hillary Rodham Clinton is ahead of every potential Republican rival. Tue, 4/15
 
New nasal spray offers hope in fighting a flu epidemic
A nasal spray of engineered proteins has prevented flu in mice exposed to lethal doses of flu virus, researchers say. The preventive spray still needs testing, but experts see real hope in saving human lives in the months before a flu vaccine could be created for a certain strain.  Tue, 4/15
 
Russia walks fine line on truth in Ukraine
Moscow has painted a picture of chaos and danger in eastern Ukraine, although it is pro-Russia forces themselves who created it by seizing public buildings and setting up roadblocks. Tue, 4/15
 
Teen finds bomb-threat tweet no joke to airlines
When a 14-year-old girl tweeted a threat to American Airlines on Sunday, she surely could not have imagined that by Tuesday she would be arrested by the Rotterdam police, attract a global media storm and become the object of both fierce derision and sympathy. Tue, 4/15
 
New York tries no-kill approach to feral cat control
The city has shifted to a new approach to control stray cats that relies on volunteers trained to trap, neuter and then return them to their colonies in the neighborhoods they came from.  Tue, 4/15
 
'Shrimp Boy' pleads not guilty in corruption case
Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, a central figure in a sweeping San Francisco organized crime and public corruption case, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to money laundering and other charges related to the investigation. Tue, 4/15
 
Authorities looking for suspects in NC kidnapping
A federal prosecutor said agents were still looking for more suspects in the abduction of a North Carolina prosecutor's father as a judge denied bond Tuesday for five people arrested last week. Tue, 4/15
 
Chile leader to relocate Valparaiso fire victims
President Michelle Bachelet vowed Tuesday to reconstruct this once-beautiful port city according to a master plan that would prevent many of the 11,000 victims of devastating wildfires from rebuilding on hills that cannot be protected from disasters. Tue, 4/15
 
Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
His head covered in a black hood, lawyer Tang Jitian recalls being taken into a room and hearing the sound of a rope being pulled. The handcuffs behind him were jerked upward and soon he was dangling in the air. Tue, 4/15
 
Coulson: 'Didn't know about tabloid phone hacking'
Prime Minister David Cameron's former communications chief said under oath Tuesday that he was never involved in phone hacking when he was the editor of a Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid, though he acknowledged he hadn't known at the time that the practice was illegal. Tue, 4/15
 
Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, 1st of year
Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse -- at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies. Tue, 4/15
 
Ga. judge won't stop new Vidalia onion rule
A Georgia judge Tuesday refused to intervene in a legal battle between a prominent Vidalia onion farmer and the state's agriculture commissioner over a new regulation aimed at keeping unripe onions from reaching store shelves. Tue, 4/15
 
India's top court recognizes third gender category
India's top court on Tuesday issued a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents. Tue, 4/15
 
Japan pro-whaling lobby vows to continue hunts
Hundreds of pro-whaling Japanese officials, lawmakers and lobby group members vowed Tuesday to continue whale hunts despite a world court ruling that ordered the country to halt its Antarctic whaling program. Tue, 4/15
 
Pakistan brothers in cannibalism case face court
Two brothers arrested for the second time over accusations of cannibalism appeared in court Tuesday, police officials said, in a sensational case that has horrified Pakistanis. Tue, 4/15
 
Russia tests Obama's ability to stop its advances
With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations. Tue, 4/15
 
Security Council sees grim images of Syrian dead
The U.N. Security Council fell silent Tuesday after ambassadors viewed a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims, France's ambassador said. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and repeated beatings, and eyes having been gouged out. Tue, 4/15
 
Study shows increase in online information thefts
The number of Americans who say they've had important personal information stolen online is on the rise, according to a Pew Research Center report released Monday. Tue, 4/15
 
Syrian forces try seize rebel-held areas of Homs
Syrian forces tried to seize rebel-held areas of Homs on Tuesday, with fighters weakened by defections and cut supply lines, in some of the fiercest fighting in the central city for months, activists said. Tue, 4/15
 
Violence surges from Islamic uprising in Nigeria
Suspected Muslim extremists kidnapped about 100 girls Tuesday from a school in northeastern Nigeria, less than a day after militants bombed a bus station and killed 75 people in the capital -- a surge of violence that raised new doubts about the military's ability to contain an Islamic uprising. Tue, 4/15
 

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Business & Technology

Amid soaring meat prices, Zaycon offers deals on the go
Spokane company sells bulk products to customers who are willing to buy by the case — and take delivery from the back of a truck.  Tue, 4/15
 
Boeing managers say transfer of engineer jobs damaging talent, morale
Company documents reveal that Boeing’s plan to transfer 1,000 technology research jobs out of Washington state has caused widespread internal dissent and confusion. Some top engineers are leaving to work elsewhere. Tue, 4/15
 
GM crisis ‘catalyst for change’ in company’s culture, CEO says
In her first public appearance since enduring withering criticism at congressional hearings two weeks ago, Barra reassured an audience of auto executives and dealers that GM will use the controversial ignition recall to become a better company. Tue, 4/15
 
New newspaper goes head-to-head with L.A. Times
The owner of The Orange County Register will push north with Wednesday’s launch of the Los Angeles Register hoping that deep coverage of local news and a political stance that’s center-right will help it gain on the venerable but struggling Los Angeles Times. Tue, 4/15
 
Yellen says Fed considering tougher rules for big banks
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Fed officials are “actively considering additional measures” that could further reduce risks to short-term wholesale funding markets. Those markets help provide the liquidity to keep the financial system working. Tue, 4/15
 
Google buys drone maker Titan Aerospace
Google has bought Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, saying it could help bring Internet access to remote parts of the world as well as solve other problems. Tue, 4/15
 

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Sports

Jerry Brewer
Bill Iffrig is Boston bombings’ reluctant icon
Lake Stevens runner, 79, isn’t keen on rehashing his story of being struck down 20 feet from the marathon finish line, and finishing the race, a year ago. Tue, 4/15
 
Mariners fall to Rangers, 5-0
The Mariners go back to lacking offensive firepower, managing only seven hits while getting shut out for the third time in five days.  Tue, 4/15
 
Depth has Sounders on rise
Look beyond Clint Dempsey’s impressive goal-scoring run and you’ll see key contributions from a deeper, stronger Sounders FC bench in the team’s move up the standings. Tue, 4/15
 
Husky football players getting to know each other
New Washington coach Chris Petersen has insisted that his players find out who their teammates are. “Just because you’re on a team doesn’t make you a teammate, and it certainly doesn’t make you a good teammate,” Petersen said.  Tue, 4/15
 
Taijuan Walker scratched from rehab start in Tacoma
The rehabilitation of Taijuan Walker’s shoulder, and his possible return to the Mariners, took a step back Tuesday. What’s unclear is just how big of a step back.  Tue, 4/15
 
JC guard Quevyn Winters is expected to sign with Washington men
The 6-foot-6 guard, who is expected to officially join the Huskies on Wednesday when the spring signing period begins, is eager to help UW bounce back after a 17-15 record last season. Tue, 4/15
 
Cougars starter Royce Woolridge, reserve James Hunter leave program
Starting guard Royce Woolridge and reserve center James Hunter have left the Washington State basketball program, while recruit Jermaine Morgan has been released from his letter of intent. Tue, 4/15
 
Joshua Mayers’ power rankings
Joshua Mayers ranks the MLS teams.  Tue, 4/15
 
Mound stars align Wednesday when Felix faces Darvish
Perennial Cy Young Award candidates put unbeaten marks on line at Rangers’ Globe Life Park. Tue, 4/15
 
Olympic great Michael Phelps to swim again
Don't expect the same Michael Phelps in his return to swimming after a nearly two-year retirement. Tue, 4/15
 
Phelps will be racing himself in swimming comeback
Michael Phelps will be facing quite an opponent when he returns to the pool. Tue, 4/15
 
Capsule look at NHL playoffs
 Tue, 4/15
 
Chris Johnson meets with Jets
Running back visits New York a week after being released by Tennessee Tue, 4/15
 
Cuonzo Martin leaves Tennessee to take over as California coach / Men’s basketball
 Tue, 4/15
 
How in the name of Kobe, Bird and Reed did this happen?
 Tue, 4/15
 
Knicks roll as Carmelo Anthony sits with torn labrum in right shoulder
 Tue, 4/15
 
NCAA committee approves expanded meal allowance
 Tue, 4/15
 
UW women golfers top No. 1 USC, win Silverado Invitational
Washington finished the final round at 8-under 280, easily the best of the tournament. The Huskies’ three-round total of 3-under 861 was good for a 13-shot victory over No. 1-ranked USC. Tue, 4/15
 
Seattle Storm’s top choice is a veteran post player
Storm drafts UConn point guard, then trades her for veteran help inside Tue, 4/15
 
On the Air
 Tue, 4/15
 
Tuesday’s prep golf results
Golf results for Tuesday, April 15 Tue, 4/15
 
Tuesday’s prep lacrosse results
Lacrosse results for Tuesday, April 15 Tue, 4/15
 
Tuesday’s prep tennis results
Tennis results for Tuesday, April 15 Tue, 4/15
 

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Entertainment

April 16 TV Picks: ‘Arrow’ on The CW
TV Picks for Wednesday, April 16, 2014, include “Arrow” on The CW, “Survivor” on CBS and “The Americans” on FX. Wed, 4/16
 
UPDATE - 06:20 AM
Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
Miley Cyrus is in the hospital and unable to perform her "Bangerz" concert in Kansas City, Mo., as planned. Wed, 4/16
 
Movie review
‘Heaven is for Real’: a family tale of a near-death experience
A movie review of “Heaven is for Real,” the story of a boy who, after major surgery, tells his father — a minister — that he’s been to heaven. Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Connor Corum star.  Tue, 4/15
 
Jesse Winchester, a songwriter’s songwriter
An appreciation of the musician who died April 11 at age 69, never having achieved stardom but revered by the many artists who recorded his songs, including Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris and George Strait. Tue, 4/15
 
Movie review
‘Antboy’: Danish superhero flick crawls along
A two-star movie review of “Antboy,” a Danish, dubbed-in-English kiddie movie.  Tue, 4/15
 

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Living

NEW - 06:03 AM
Three ways to prepare perfect mashed potatoes
So how do you like your mashed potatoes: fluffy or creamy? Wed, 4/16
 
Dear Carolyn
Deceitful ex wants to pick up where he left off
Don’t go near the guy, columnist Carolyn Hax advises wary woman. Wed, 4/16
 
Recipe: Pea, Asparagus and Fava Bean Salad
A recipe featuring asparagus adapted from Bon Appétit. Wed, 4/16
 
Recipe: Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb
 Wed, 4/16
 
Recipe: Shaved Asparagus with Mushrooms and Parmesan Crumble
 Wed, 4/16
 
A fresh take on Easter ham
Fresh ham makes for an elegant — but not at all fancy — holiday centerpiece, a roast that holds none of the freight associated with roast beef, turkey or the traditional pink ham of the season.  Tue, 4/15
 

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Travel & Outdoors

Travel Troubleshooter
Changing airline tickets when illness intervenes
Thomas Hinrichs’ anniversary plans are derailed by a medical emergency. Can he change the name on his wife’s ticket and take his son to Paris and London, instead? Tue, 4/15
 
Chinese tourists: The new “Ugly Americans?”
Cultural misunderstandings surge in Thailand’s Chiang Mai as Chinese tourism flourishes.  Tue, 4/15
 
Hawaiian Airlines fined $548,000 for lack of safety inspection
Boeing 767 used on more than 5,000 flights without a mandated engine inspection.  Tue, 4/15
 
Rick Steves' Europe
Take time to absorb Europe’s magnificent art
European travel specialist Rick Steves gets close to famous paintings and off-the-beaten-track artwork. Tue, 4/15
 

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Opinion

Editorial: Rodney Tom leaves legacy of bipartisanship in Olympia
Rodney Tom, the man-in-the-middle who changed the course of the Legislature, leaves the Senate with much to be proud of. Ultimately it is the centrist ideal he represented that is important. Tue, 4/15
 
Guest: When you’re a white American married to a minority Muslim
As a white American married to a minority Muslim, I’m caught in a strange place, writes guest columnist Krista Bremer. Tue, 4/15
 
The oldest hatred, forever young
Our country has come so far from the anti-Semitism of decades ago that we tend to overlook the anti-Semitism that endures, writes syndicated columnist Frank Bruni. Tue, 4/15