Local news

Man body’s found in car identified

The homeless man found dead in his car in a Wal-Mart parking lot was Harold Ratzlaff, 62, a janitor at Goodwill Industries.

Ratzlaff lived in his car, police said, and parked at Wal-Mart and other places overnight to sleep. His body was found at the North Side store Tuesday.

The cause of his death was undetermined, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police didn’t suspect foul play.

Ratzlaff had worked as a janitor since Aug. 19 at Goodwill Industries downtown, said Diane Galloway, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit. “He was trying to get into an apartment,” she said, and Goodwill was trying to help him.

Wal-Mart stores are known among police as spots where transients park their vehicles.

Washington state

State voter turnout could be a record

Washington state is headed for a modern record for voter turnout, with an estimated 3.1 million residents casting ballots in last week’s election.

The secretary of state’s office said Thursday the counties have tallied more than 2.95 million ballots and have 100,000 left to count. In addition, 50,000 provisional ballots are being reviewed, and as many as 99 percent of those could be approved, based on past elections.

That means the state could wind up with a turnout of 85 percent, which would pass the 1944 record of 84.5 percent.

Spokane County, which has about 3,500 ballots left to count, could have a turnout of about 86 percent.

Jody Lawrence-Turner Jim Camden


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