January 18, 2009 in City

Contract extended for Hanford services

 
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Background and the latest updates

Fluor Hanford’s contract to provide support services at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has been extended six months.

The Energy Department’s action keeps about 1,700 Fluor employees working on utilities, security, fire protection, information technology and other services through July 15.

By then the government expects to resolve issues involving the choice of a new contractor.

In early September the department awarded a $3 billion Hanford support services contract to a team headed by Lockheed Martin. That group was supposed to take over on Jan. 1, but the award was challenged by a team led by Computer Sciences Corp. and Battelle.

Late last month the Government Accountability Office dismissed the protest, subject to a review of some of the issues that it raised.

OLYMPIA

Chief justice calls for higher jury pay

Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander says that jurors aren’t paid enough for their time.

In his annual state of the judiciary speech, he pushed for higher daily fees. He notes that for a five-day trial, Washington ranks 45th out of 50 states in terms of jury compensation.

Alexander told the Legislature on Friday that the court wants a bill that would increase the daily minimum fee, which is currently $10.

He suggests that the fee stay at $10 for the first day of jury service, but that it increase for additional days of jury service, and that the state should bear the cost of the increase.

A one-year pilot project approved by the Legislature in 2006 did increase the fee to $61 a day for three jurisdictions.

SEaTAC, Wash.

Fire forces 100 to leave apartments

One hundred residents of a 48-unit apartment complex in SeaTac were displaced by a three-alarm fire that brought out 75 firefighters from south King County on Saturday night.

Dave Nelson, public information officer with the Skyway Fire Department, said two people jumped from a third-story window and were taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with injuries.

He said seven people suffered minor injuries, mostly minor burns, and were taken to area hospitals.

Nelson said a firefighter suffered minor injuries but was allowed to remain on the scene battling the blaze.

Nelson said the fire broke out at the Emerald Place Apartments at 6:56 p.m. and when firefighters reached the apartments two minutes later that heavy smoke and flames were coming out of “a couple of the units.”

He said the reason all the residents had to leave the complex was because the entire complex lost its power.

One-fourth of the apartment units suffered extensive damage, while another one-fourth of the units suffered structural damage. Nelson said the structural damage included smoke, water and roof damage.

Cause of the fire is under investigation. Nelson said he didn’t know if the units had sprinklers. He said it was too early to make a damage estimate, but the apartment complex was valued at $1 million.

From wire reports


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