OLYMPIA -- State officials will honor slain deputies, police officers and other law enforcement types this afternoon in a ceremony at the state Peace Officers Memorial, which is north of the Temple of Justice overlooking Capitol Lake.
The annual ceremony takes on additional significance this year with the string of law officer slayings last fall on the West Side. Those names have already been added to the memorial wall.
Gov. Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna will be speaking at the ceremony. Weather expected to cooperate.
Congrats go out to Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin, who received the state's Elections Employee of the Year Award at t his week's state elections office. Other counties praised McLaughlin for his willingness to help neighboring counties on elections matters, a release from Secretary of State Sam Reed's office said. Which makes sense because he's always available to help news reporters with their elections questions, too.
In the other Washington, we have some catchup from late announcements yestereday:
Sen. Maria Cantwell has joined with Sen. John McCain -- interesting combination, no? -- to reintroduce tough rules on banks. They want to restore Glass-Steagall, a law that kept the commercial banks and the investment banks separate from 1933 to the mid 1990s. You can read more about it here.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers continued her fight against U.S. aid to Greece by way of the International Monetary Fund. You can watch her discussion of why this is a bad idea here.
And this just in: The U.S. Census Department has announced the best and worst cities for turning in their Census forms, and the winner is...
...the town of Colton in Whitman County, with an 87 percent return rate. So pat yourself on the back, Coltonites, or Coltoners, or Coltonians. You're return rate is tied with the best rate for big cities over 50,000, (Livonia, Mich., hit that mark, too.) If you want to see a national map of return rates, click here.
Spokane and Spokane Valley remain tied at 76 percent, and slightly ahead of Seattle's 75 percent, Bellevue's 74 percent. Vancouver's 73 percent, Tacoma's 72 percent. The Tri-Cities are split into their actual cities: with Richland at 80 percent, Kennewick 76 percent and Pasco 74 percent.
So who's at the bottom? Conconully (in Okanogan County) at 35 percent.
If you didn't mail your form back, expect a Census worker to be knocking on your door sometime soon. If you doubt he or she is for real, check for a badge, a black canvas bag with a Census Bureau logo and can give you a contact info for a supervisor if you ask.