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Northwestern wins debate tournament

Northwestern University debaters Joshua Branson and Tristan Morales were crowned champions at the National Debate Tournament on Monday night.

Judges scored a 3-2 victory for the Northwestern students, who were matched against the University of California-Berkeley in the finals, held at the Red Lion Inn at the Park. The 59-year-old tournament was hosted by Gonzaga University.

The four-day event attracted 78 debate teams from 51 schools. Washington was represented by Gonzaga and Whitman College.

Kennedy Townsend to speak at fund-raiser

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the eldest of the Kennedy grandchildren, will speak at this spring’s Women Helping Women luncheon in Spokane.

This fund-raiser, which last year raised $234,000 in a single lunch hour, supports programs that benefit women and children in Spokane. It will be May 5 at the Spokane Convention Center.

Townsend, the daughter of Robert Kennedy, served as Maryland’s first female lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2002 and narrowly lost her campaign for governor in 2002. She became a national advocate for victims’ rights and served as chair of the Maryland Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

The luncheon begins at noon. The cost of admission is a minimum donation of $100 per guest and guests are encouraged to consider a larger donation.

This annual luncheon began in 1993 and has raised more than $2.3 million in the years since. Last year, 1,600 people attended. Reservations for the lunch may be made by calling the Women Helping Women Fund office at (509) 328-8285.

Man convicted for third time in wife’s death

Everett A man who represented himself in his third murder trial over the 1988 death of his wife was convicted Thursday for a third time.

Snohomish County Superior Court jurors deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours before returning their verdict against Jerry Bartlett Jones Jr.

Jones, a former pharmaceutical salesman, took the news with only a slight shake of his head, the Herald reported. He asked to be sent to prison as soon as possible, so he can finish the time he has left from his previous conviction. Judge James Allendorfer set sentencing for Tuesday. Jones has about three years left on his term.

Before he was handcuffed, he hugged both of his adult daughters and his father.

Both of the earlier verdicts were overturned on appeal.

Jones said earlier he was so determined to avoid a fourth trial that he wouldn’t appeal a guilty verdict this time.

Lee Jones, 41, who was found in a pool of blood at the couple’s home in the north Seattle suburb of Bothell on Dec. 3, 1988. An autopsy showed she had been slashed and stabbed 63 times.

Evidence against her husband included bloodstains on his clothing and a knife cut on one of his hands, and the next year he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years.

Nine years later, in 1998, a federal judge ruled that Jones’ defense had been compromised because his trial lawyer failed to present evidence that Jones and his family said would have implicated a neighborhood teenager.

His second trial, in 2000, produced the same outcome as the first, but a three-judge state appeals panel dismissed that conviction because the trial judge had barred the defense from presenting evidence on threats and violence against women by the neighbor since the killing.

Jones has been behind bars since shortly after the killing except for two years between the first reversal of his first conviction and the second trial and the last 13 months since the second conviction was overturned.

Plural form of ‘Snoho’ gets students in trouble

Snohomish, Wash. “Snoho” has appeared without incident in Snohomish High School yearbooks, on the school district’s Web site and in the name of an espresso stand, SnoHo Mojo, but the plural form is another matter.

Justin Patrick, 17, a senior, was suspended briefly in February after arguing when he was told to cover up a T-shirt with “SNOHOS” emblazoned across the chest.

He and four friends wore SNOHOS T-shirts mostly beneath coats in a protest Wednesday.

They said the term is merely a self-reference, short for Snohomish, an Indian word meaning “lowland people” or “sleeping waters,” and adopted it as the title of a video they made of themselves doing stunts around town.

School administrators, however, say it’s all too easily seen as a derogatory reference to prostitutes.

“There’s a real difference between the word ‘Snoho’ and the word ‘Snohos,’ ” Principal Diana Plumis insisted.

“I can’t see our boys football team wearing a shirt that said ‘We are Snohos,’ can you?” Plumis said. “It’s a pejorative reference to women, and I don’t want our name to be used to rank on our girls.”

In the previous school year, she said, members of an opposing team at a girls sports game produced a sign saying, “Beat the Snohos,” and the principal of the other school called to apologize.

‘Flower fairy’ making rounds on West Side

Anderson Island, Wash. A “flower fairy” is making deliveries all over this small island southwest of Tacoma.

Someone has been dropping off flower bouquets or potted plants for the past several weeks. Residents who’ve received the deliveries said they will hear a knock late at night and answer the door to find the floral gift and a handwritten note saying, “Hope these make you smile.” The notes are signed, “Love, the Flower Fairy.” The handwriting appears to be feminine.

No one has seen the person delivering the gifts or has admitted knowing who the person is.

The fairy also makes daytime deliveries, dropping off flowers at the community church during morning service last Sunday. Anderson Island Fire Chief Jim Bixler said he received some flowers, and the person did it without activating his motion-detector lights.

“It was so cool,” Betsey Rodgers told the News Tribune. “It was such a sweet gesture.”


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