Democrats begin convention
VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Washington state Democratic convention is under way in Vancouver. Democrats expect 1,000 party members to attend this weekend’s events.
State party Chairman Dwight Pelz said that today, the party plans to officially nominate Denny Heck for the open seat in the 3rd Congressional District.
Pelz said Clyde Cordero is expected to win the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Eastern Washington’s 5th District.
Other candidates for Congress were nominated back in January.
Eleven Democratic caucuses met Friday at the Hilton Vancouver. Among others, they represented minorities, organized labor, the disabled, veterans, and rural and agricultural interests. About 75 delegates crowded into a meeting of the party’s Washington State Progressive Caucus.
Computer chip suit aids states
BOISE – Idaho and 32 other states will share in a $173 million settlement with six international manufacturers, including Boise-based Micron Technology Inc., who were accused of price fixing related to the sale of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday the amount of money to be distributed to consumers, businesses, the state and local governments has not yet been determined.
“I appreciate that the manufacturers worked with the states to reach an agreement to address our concerns and resolve this matter,” Wasden said in a statement.
In July 2006, the multistate group sued in federal court, alleging that consumers and state agencies overpaid for products containing the chips.
The manufacturers did not admit to any violations.
Wasden said the agreement still needs court approval.
“Idaho’s governments, businesses and consumers spend sizable amounts of money for computers and other products containing DRAM,” Wasden said. “When those costs are inflated by unlawful anticompetitive practices, as we have alleged in this case, we have a duty to the taxpayers and consumers to recover their money and end the unlawful activity.”
Donated cell phone triggers arrest
TACOMA – Court documents say graphic video found on a cell phone donated to a Tacoma Goodwill store led to the arrest of a man accused of raping a 3-year-old girl.
Pierce County prosecutors have charged Robert Michael Comte, 32, with one count of first-degree child rape and one count of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. They allege it is Comte assaulting the girl in the video. A woman who was given the phone found the images and turned the phone over to police.
Not guilty pleas were entered on Comte’s behalf Friday in Superior Court. He was ordered jailed on $500,000 bail.
Police have suspect in 2000 killing
COQUILLE, Ore. – A decade after her body was found, police say they finally have a suspect in the death of a teenage girl on the Oregon coast.
Coquille police and the Coos County district attorney’s office said Friday that a grand jury will now review the disappearance and death of 15-year-old Leah Freeman in the summer of 2000.
But they declined to identify the suspect, saying the grand jury will have to first determine whether there is enough evidence for an indictment.
The case was first treated as a possible runaway until a few days later, when one of the girl’s shoes was found bloodied in a cemetery near Coquille High School. The body was found about a month later.
Leah’s mother, Cory Courtright, said she believes that someone will finally pay for her daughter’s death.