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Originally published Friday, February 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Local Digest

School-district bond vote validated

The Seattle School District's proposed $490 million construction bond has passed. Results updated Thursday from Tuesday's special election...

Seattle

The Seattle School District's proposed $490 million construction bond has passed.

Results updated Thursday from Tuesday's special election show the measure has received more than the 90,000 votes required to validate. It received 68.3 percent of the vote, above the necessary 60 percent.

Proposition 1 will, among other things, pay for renovation projects at Denny and Hamilton middle schools; Chief Sealth, Ingraham, Nathan Hale and Rainier Beach high schools; and reconstruct the South Shore building. The bond also will pay for technology and air- and water-quality system upgrades.

Proposition 2, the district's three-year, $397 million operating levy, already had received more than 60 percent of the vote and the 54,524 yes votes required.

Seattle

Light-rail worker who died identified

A Sound Transit mechanic who died Wednesday in an accident at a light-rail construction site in Seattle has been identified as 49-year-old Michael Merryman, the King County Medical Examiner said.

Merryman and another man were riding in a 30-ton locomotive at the light-rail construction site on Airport Way South, according to Sound Transit. Their train couldn't stop and it slammed into another locomotive.

After the 4 a.m. accident, Merryman was found next to the track, according to Sound Transit. The other man, the locomotive operator, stayed inside the train and sustained minor injuries. He was treated and released from Harborview Medical Center.

Merryman suffered traumatic internal injuries. It is unclear whether he jumped or fell from the train.

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Bellevue

School coordinator put on leave resigns

A program coordinator at Sacred Heart School has resigned, about 10 days after being placed on administrative leave because sexual images were found on his school-issued computer.

Seattle police are investigating whether any of the images are of children, and no criminal charges have been filed, according to a Seattle Archdiocese news release.

The man has not been accused of improper conduct with students at Sacred Heart, a K-8 Catholic school, said Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the archdiocese.

The man formerly held positions at St. Joseph School in Seattle and at a summer camping program operated by the archdiocese.

Washington

Inslee joins suit on global warming

Washington Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, is taking sides with environmental groups in a lawsuit against the Bush administration over global warming.

Inslee and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., have jointly filed a brief asking a U.S. District Court judge to force the administration to complete a required report about global warming in the United States.

The lawsuit originally was filed by three environmental groups, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity.

It is unusual for members of Congress to join a lawsuit against the executive branch, said Deborah Sivas, director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Stanford University, which drafted the brief for the senator and congressman.

Inslee and Kerry are jumping into the fray amid growing attention to climate change in Congress, and criticism that the Bush administration has suppressed scientific information about global warming.

"Given the urgent and potentially catastrophic implications of global climate change," the brief argues, the unwillingness to provide the report "is alarming."

The Bush administration has denied that it has withheld information on climate change.

Kent

Shooting suspect pleads not guilty

The second of two men charged last month after a Jan. 21 shooting spree at a Denny's restaurant in Kent pleaded not guilty in King County Superior Court on Thursday.

Frank Lee Evans, 23, of Kent, was charged with five counts of first-degree assault.

The first man, Eugene Michael Garrett, 23, of Kent, who was charged with one count of second-degree assault, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count of second-degree assault.

According to the charging papers, Evans went to Denny's after arguing with a man in the parking lot of a nearby bar. He then got upset over the previous confrontation and began shooting, injuring five people. Garrett was involved in the original fight, according to the charging papers.

Evans would face 63 to 76 years in prison if convicted; Garrett would face three to four years in prison.

Seattle

Suitcase of jewels and money stolen

Seattle police are searching for a suitcase full of jewels and cash that was stolen from a man in a North Seattle motel parking lot Wednesday night.

The victim, a man in his 20s who works in the jewelry industry, was pulling a rolling suitcase across the lot at the Holiday Inn Express, 226 Aurora Ave. N., shortly before 7 p.m. when an older minivan pulled up and two men got out, according to a Seattle police spokeswoman. At least one of the men displayed a gun as they demanded the luggage.

The robbers then sped north on Aurora Avenue North.

Montesano

Missing woman's body is found

Two timber-company employees on a remote logging road in Grays Harbor County on Wednesday found the body of a 69-year-old Beaverton, Ore., woman who has been missing since Jan. 27.

Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott said the body of Beverly Johnson was about 30 feet from her locked car. The keys were inside and the battery was dead. It was not known how long she had been there.

Scott said all Johnson's personal effects were there and foul play is not suspected.

The family told police when she disappeared that she could become disoriented because she did not have her seizure medicine.

Olympia

State will buy railroad line

The state has agreed to buy the third branch of the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad, an important transportation link for farmers and businesses in Eastern Washington, the governor's office announced Thursday.

The line runs from Coulee City to Cheney and Spokane. The purchase price is about $5.6 million, according to Mark Blazer, senior vice president for the western region of Watco Companies, which owns the line.

The state had purchased two other branches of the railroad in 2004 for $6.5 million: one that runs from Marshall to Pullman and another from Hooper to Thornton.

The freight rail system, covering more than 300 miles, is the second largest in the state and provides rail service to several companies and farms in the eastern and central sections of the state.

Times staff and news services

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