WEATHER Hell and high water
It was disaster of biblical proportions in Grand Forks, N.D., last week as the swollen Red River swallowed almost the entire city of 50,000.
A raging fire that damaged or destroyed 11 buildings added to the afflictions, breaking out Saturday only hours after the city’s downtown was evacuated.
Firefighters had to dive to find hydrants only to learn there was no water pressure. Standing in filthy, swirling floodwaters, they battled hypothermia as well as the flames.
Grand Forks Mayor Pat Owens emerged as the city’s emotional rock. Like many forced to seek shelter in surrounding towns or on cots at a nearby air base, Owens found her own home under water. She spoke movingly of the city’s plight to President Clinton, who flew in for a visit on Tuesday. Congress was considering $700 million in flood relief by Saturday.
POLITICS Bouncing the budget
Democratic Gov. Gary Locke received the $19 billion state budget on Monday and, by Wednesday, returned it to the Republican-controlled state Legislature after going through it with a surgical pen, marking 47 vetoes and excising $4 billion.
Seahawks win a stadium
Although all 10 Spokane-area legislators voted against the deal, the state House and Senate approved a $425-million financing package to build a new football stadium in Seattle for billionaire Paul Allen and the Seattle Seahawks.
The stadium, funded largely by new state lottery games, a share of King County state sales taxes and hotel-motel taxes, will be built right next to the $414 million Mariners baseball park now under construction.
TERRORISM Swift, deadly rescue
On Tuesday, specially trained commandoes stormed the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru, killing 14 Tupac Amaru rebels who had held 72 hostages since Dec. 17.
One hostage died of an apparent heart attack after being shot in the sudden, explosive raid. Two soldiers also died. The commandoes had hidden in a tunnel beneath the embassy since Sunday and blasted their way through the floor. By midweek, it was reported that the rebels were ruthlessly gunned down even as some tried to surrender.
SPORTS Fuzzy thinking
Professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller munched upon deep-fried crow for much of the week after making racially insensitive comments about what sort of food Masters champion Tiger Woods would order at the tournament awards dinner. Zoeller backtracked furiously trying to atone his way out of the rough - even withdrawing from the PGA’s Greater Greensboro Classic.
Woods, accepting the apology Thursday, said he was shocked at the remarks but noted, “… having played golf with Fuzzy, I know he is a jokester; and I have concluded that no personal animosity toward me was intended.”
With four games left to play in the month of April, Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. clobbered 13 home runs to shatter the previous major league record of 11. Griffey’s hot start is already focusing attention on Roger Maris’ single-season home run record.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: For more information on these stories, see Virtually Northwest, The Spokesman-Review’s online publication, at www.virtuallynorthwest.com.