Cruise line to pay fine and then some
Celebrity Cruises has agreed to pay $100,000 for a 2005 dumping incident from a cruise ship, even though the state agreed the company owes...
Celebrity Cruises has agreed to pay $100,000 for a 2005 dumping incident from a cruise ship, even though the state agreed the company owes only $70,000.
The cruise-ship company had appealed an initial $100,000 fine from the Ecology Department over 2005 discharges of treated sewage from the cruise ship Mercury into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Celebrity contended that three of 10 dumping incidents at issue happened outside state waters, among other arguments. The state finally agreed and reduced the fine to $70,000.
But the company said it would pay the original fine, and is asking that the extra $30,000 go toward marine conservation.
"We're happy to pay the full amount as a demonstration of good faith and our desire to do things properly," said company spokesman Michael Sheehan.
Man convicted in fatal shooting
A man accused of fatally shooting an 18-year-old man in a South Park alley in 2004 was found guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm by a King County jury Wednesday.
Police said Wilber Jose Sorto, 25, shot Antonio Pinto then fled in a truck on the afternoon of Oct. 4. Witnesses told police that Sorto was a member of a street gang known as Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.
A sentencing date has not been set.
Eastsiders donate to UW research
Two Eastside couples long involved in the building industry have donated $2.5 million to the University of Washington to help the school's growing research in stem cells.
Bill and Marilyn Conner of Kirkland donated $1.5 million to create an endowed teaching chair in the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. Michael and Linda Mastro of Medina donated $1 million to the institute.
Restaurant shooting charges are filed
Two men were charged Wednesday in King County Superior Court after a shooting spree Sunday morning at a Kent Denny's restaurant that left one man critically injured and four other people wounded.
Frank Lee Evans, 23, of Kent, was charged with five counts of first-degree assault. Eugene Michael Garrett, 23, of Kent, was charged with one count of second-degree assault.
According to the charging papers, Evans argued with a man in the parking lot of a nearby bar, then headed to the Denny's restaurant. According to the report, he became upset at the restaurant over the confrontation and some problems with his son and began shooting. Garrett was involved in the fight, according to the charging papers.
Arraignment is scheduled Feb. 6 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. Evans would face 63 to 76 years in prison if convicted; Garrett would face three to four years in prison.
Too much to drink? Taxis convenient
Pioneer Square bar patrons can expect to see two new taxi stands starting Friday.
A cab stand will be on South Washington Street in front of Occidental Park and another on South King Street next to the Qwest Field parking lot.
The stands will operate from 11:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, said Suzette Riley, who coordinates the "Last Call" project.
The project, a partnership between the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center and Public Health — Seattle & King County, is studying whether readily available taxis reduce alcohol-related crashes among young people.
The project began in December with a taxi stand in Fremont on Evanston Avenue North and North 34th Street.
Startup, Snohomish County
Pub warned to obey no-smoking law
The Snohomish Health District has ordered a county pub to cut out the smoking or face future penalties.
The Sky River Pub in Startup is under court order to comply with the Washington Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans smoking inside public buildings. The pub has been cited by the health district three times under the law, which now is seeking an injunction in Snohomish County Superior Court.
This is the third establishment the health district has sought a court order against for lack of compliance with the law.
Microsoft seeks OK for fireworks
Microsoft has applied for a permit to hold a three-minute fireworks display at Gas Works Park on Saturday evening.
The event will be webcast and is part of a global game for employees, called the Microsoft Worldwide Puzzle.
Most players will watch remotely as they attempt to uncover clues embedded in the fireworks display. Up to 150 people are expected to attend the event, which is by invitation only.
A spokeswoman for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation said Wednesday the permit would be approved.
Fewer retailers sell tobacco to minors
Only about 5 percent of retailers in the state still sell tobacco to minors, according to the latest random check by the state Department of Health. That's a significant drop since 1996, when nearly 20 percent of stores sold to underage buyers.
In the 2006 checks, teenagers attempted to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products in 563 outlets, ranging from convenience stores to large discount outlets.
In King County, 6 percent still sold to youths.
Schools to make up for canceled days
The Auburn School District has extended its school year to make up most of the five days of classes it canceled due to inclement weather.
For elementary-school students, classes will be held May 29 and June 22, 25 and 26. Most secondary-school students will attend classes on May 29 and June 25, 26 and 27.
Seniors will attend classes May 29, but the district will decide in mid-February when classes will be held for three additional makeup days. District spokeswoman Amy Spence said seniors won't attend school during mid-winter break, but classes could be scheduled any other time during the school year or even after graduation.
High-school graduation is scheduled for June 16 and June 17. The district is applying for a state waiver for one windstorm-related day last month.
The state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced this month an emergency amendment to state law that would allow school districts that canceled classes related to a governor-declared state of emergency — such as the November floods and the December windstorm — to apply to waive makeup days.
Fundraiser to help kin of slain officer
The Highline School District will sponsor a fundraiser Friday for relatives of slain King County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Cox.
Cox, 46, was killed Dec. 2, while on duty in White Center. He was shot twice while questioning Raymond O. Porter, 23. Porter exchanged gunfire with two other deputies before he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, the sheriff's office said.
Cox left behind a wife and a 1-year-old son.
The fundraiser is from 7 to 9 p.m. at Cascade Middle School, 11212 10th Ave S.W. There will be dancing, food and a prize drawing.
Seattle Times staff and news services
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