BOISE – Idaho’s tax revenues fell $12.8 million below forecasts in January, but the state’s chief economist says the dip is due to a timing issue, and “it’s not necessarily a cause for alarm.”
“You have to look behind the numbers,” said Mike Ferguson, Gov. Butch Otter’s chief economist. “Things appear to have stabilized.”
The distinction could be significant because lawmakers, who are trying to determine how much to cut state spending, have been bracing for worsening revenue projections.
Idaho’s tax revenues fell $12.6 million short in December, in addition to the $12.8 million shortfall in January. But Ferguson said nearly all of that came from lower early individual income tax payments – something that previously was encouraged by federal tax laws but now has become less advantageous to taxpayers. If so, that money can be expected to come in by April.
Idaho’s sales tax revenues in January were $6.5 million above projections.
‘Deadliest Catch’ captain dies
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Discovery Channel says the captain of the “Deadliest Catch” fishing vessel Cornelia Marie has died.
Capt. Phil Harris suffered what his family described as a massive stroke on Jan. 29 while the boat was in port at St. Paul Island, Alaska. The 53-year-old fisherman was flown to Anchorage for surgery.
A Discovery spokesman says the Harris family contacted the network Tuesday evening with word of his death.
Discovery Channel spokeswoman Elizabeth Hillman issued a statement on behalf of sons Jake and Josh Harris. It says in part, “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad – Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end.”
The Discovery Channel reality show depicts the crab fishing industry in the dangerous waters off Alaska. Harris’ fishing vessel was based in Seattle.
Washougal man died in Haiti
VANCOUVER, Wash. – In a Facebook announcement, the family of a 57-year-old Washougal, Wash., man missing since Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake says his remains have been identified in the rubble of the collapsed Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince.
Walt Ratterman was visiting Haiti to check on a solar-power project. He was co-founder of Sun Energy Power International, a Washougal-based nonprofit agency that provides help with renewable energy systems in remote rural parts of the world.
Family members wrote Monday that they learned the news late Sunday night. They say his remains will be flown home and they plan a memorial gathering soon.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, his son, Shane, and daughter, Briana.
Seattle to host Picasso works
SEATTLE – The Seattle Art Museum has landed a major exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s work.
The exhibit opens in October and will feature 75 paintings and sculptures from throughout Picasso’s eight-decade career, plus drawings and photographs.
The artworks come from the Musee National Picasso in Paris, which houses Picasso’s personal collection. The Musee Picasso recently closed for renovation, and the Seattle Art Museum says this is likely the only time such a comprehensive survey of Picasso’s work will travel the world.
Seattle is the exhibit’s first stop in the U.S. Among the highlights will be Cubist “Man with a Guitar” from 1911, “Cat Clutching a Bird” from 1939 and the self-portrait “The Matador” from 1970.