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In brief: Pedestrian killed on Highway 2

Sun., March 27, 2011

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and killed before daylight Saturday on Highway 2, nine miles south of Newport.

Timothy Davis, 29, of Newport, was walking north. He crossed into the path of a Subaru Impreza driven by Kevin P. Shaw, 28, of Spokane, who was also northbound, according to the Washington State Patrol. The WSP responded about 3:18 a.m.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unclear whether drugs or alcohol were involved, and the WSP is still investigating the cause.

Seattle viaduct passes inspection

SEATTLE – The Washington Transportation Department said last weekend’s inspection showed no new cracks or structural damage in the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Crews continue to inspect the stretch of elevated roadway along the Seattle waterfront every three months to monitor its condition. The viaduct was damaged in an earthquake 10 years ago.

Still, the department’s Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program administrator, Ron Paananen, said he remains focused “on our aggressive schedule for replacing the viaduct.”

Costco takes new liquor sales tack

SEATTLE – Costco is making another run at getting the state out of the liquor business, after failing at the polls last November.

The company is lining up sponsors in the Legislature for a measure that would let private retailers sell liquor. Currently only the state can sell booze.

The proposal would generate money for the state through licensing fees and business-and- occupation taxes, the Seattle Times reported.

A competing proposal being considered in both chambers would raise money by leasing the state distribution system to a private company but leave the state to handle the retail stores.

Prison safety bill seeks $11 million

OLYMPIA – A bill requested by Gov. Chris Gregoire that would enhance safety for state prison guards will cost an additional $11 million to the planned budget for the Department of Corrections.

The measure includes recommendations made by the National Institute of Corrections after a corrections officer was killed at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

According to the Office of Financial Management estimate, adding 35 more guards and two counselors; reducing crowding at the Monroe facility; and buying more pepper spray, panic alarms and other enhancements will cost $11 million.

The measure requested by Gregoire was introduced Thursday.

Guard Jayme Biendl was working alone Jan. 29 when she was strangled by an inmate during a struggle in the prison chapel.

Satellite signup would net firearm

HAMILTON, Mont. – A RadioShack in Montana is offering would-be satellite television customers more bang for their buck.

Customers who sign up for some Dish Network packages at RadioShack in Hamilton will receive a coupon for a pistol or shotgun and the required background check. Those not interested in a gun get a $50 Pizza Hut gift card.

Store owner Steve Strand said it took some haggling to get Dish Network to go along with the promotion, but it has tripled his business since October.

RadioShack Corp. said in a statement Friday that the independent dealer’s offer does not follow the corporation’s marketing practices and that it is in discussions with him.

DNA database bill goes to governor

BOISE – Idaho lawmakers have finally agreed to bring the state’s DNA database on par with the rest of the nation.

The House unanimously approved legislation Friday to expand Idaho’s DNA collection program to include samples from all convicted felons.

Idaho’s network originally established in 1996 now only gathers samples from sexual or violent offenders. Idaho is the only state that doesn’t collect DNA from all felons.

The change would increase the state forensic department’s workload from 1,700 samples per year to about 5,400. The project carries a $750,000 startup price for 2012 and an additional $400,000 in subsequent years for equipment costs and two additional staff.

The measure has already passed the Senate and now goes to Gov. Butch Otter.

Grizzlies active, park officials say

KALISPELL, Mont. – Glacier National Park officials say grizzly bear tracks have been spotted in the snow in the park and are warning visitors that bears are emerging from their dens and becoming active.

Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright said visitors should be alert for bears and comply with safety regulations.

State grizzly bear management specialist Tim Manley said a tracking collar activated on March 15 shows a female grizzly with a cub is active.

Experts say bears stay at den sites for about a week before moving to lower elevations to search for food.

Official resigns after complaint

HELENA – A top official at a state facility that caters to people with developmental disabilities and behavioral problems has stepped down following a letter by an advocacy group contending the facility has a pattern of abuse, neglect and mismanagement.

Montana Developmental Center Superintendent Kathy Zeeck on Friday asked to be reassigned following the letter by Helena-based Disability Rights Montana to the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The advocacy group said the center in Boulder has taken little or no action despite reported abuse and mismanagement.

Anti-tax activist pleads guilty

LAS VEGAS – Prosecutors say a 56-year-old leader of an anti-government group has pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to conspiracy and money laundering stemming from an FBI undercover sting.

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Samuel Davis, of Council, Idaho, could face decades in prison and millions of dollars in fines as a result of his plea Friday. U.S. District Judge James Mahan set sentencing for June 24.

Court affidavits allege Davis is a national leader of the anti-tax “Sovereign Movement.”

He and a fugitive co-defendant, 48-year-old Shawn Rice, of Seligman, Ariz., were accused of laundering $1.3 million for FBI undercover agents from March 2008 to March 2009.

Bogden said the agents told them the money was from a bank fraud scheme.


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