April 17, 2012 in Region

NW Today: Space Needle to get paint job

From wire reports
 

What’s news in the Northwest today:

SEATTLE — As Seattle Center celebrates the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair, the Space Needle is getting an anniversary paint job.

City officials say the roof of the needle will be painted “galaxy gold” this week. The color is more orange than gold, however, so the change should be pretty noticeable in the Seattle skyline.

The new paint job is part of this week’s kick-off for the celebration of Seattle Center’s 50th anniversary.

Man charged with stealing over 500 pounds of change

GREAT FALLS — A 24-year-old Sun Prairie man is charged with stealing nearly $4,000 in change weighing about 530 pounds from a neighbor in a series of burglaries.

Cascade County prosecutors allege Kyle W. Voss first broke into the house on March 30 and took about $3,000 worth of quarters and half dollars stored in coffee cans, plastic jars and medicine bottles.

On April 12, a burglar took a five-gallon bucket of pennies and two large glass jars filled with nickels. The $700 in change weighed about 260 pounds and prosecutors say the burglar stole two hand trucks to cart away the loot.

The next day, the burglar returned for a five-gallon bucket of pennies and was captured on the homeowner’s new motion sensing camera.

The Great Falls Tribune reports Voss was arrested Sunday.

Homicide suspect arrested trying to jump from bridge

MISSOULA — A Montana man wanted for attempted deliberate homicide and aggravated assault is under arrest in Idaho.

Fifty-seven-year-old John Navarro Stone of Fortine was arrested Monday afternoon at Jerry Johnson Hot Springs, just over the Montana border, KGVO-AM reported.

The Western News reports Stone was wanted in Lincoln County in northwestern Montana for the March 10 beating of a female companion.

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Gittings says Stone tried to escape arrest by jumping over a bridge into the river, but deputies were able to stop him.

He’s jailed in Grangeville, Idaho on $500,000 bail awaiting extradition to Montana.

Tacoma railroad loans worry auditors

TACOMA — State auditors are warning the city of Tacoma to stop lending money to a city-owned railroad because the railroad may never be able to repay a $6.25 million loan from the city’s general fund.

Tte city responded to the auditor’s report, which was released Monday, saying they have plans to get the money back, the News Tribune reported.

Tacoma officials say they are negotiating an agreement with Sound Transit for use of part of the line. They expect the proceeds from that arrangement, along with money from a new business on the line, will help the debt be repaid.

The loan is due for repayment in December 2017.

The railroad was once considered as home to the “Train to the Mountain.” But it has been a financial drain for a long time.

Earthquake assessment set for Hanford site

RICHLAND — The federal government is going to take another look at the potential earthquake hazard at Hanford.

The seismic assessment will update the Department of Energy’s last comprehensive analysis in 1996.

New understanding of seismic faults in the Pacific Northwest will inform the new assessment, the Tri-City Herald reported.

The largest earthquake recorded in the region was a magnitude-5.7 earthquake 72 miles from Hanford at Milton-Freewater in 1936. That’s according to data collected for the design of the Hanford vitrification plant.

Eastern Washington also was hit by an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3 in 1872 near Lake Chelan.

Investigation targets biker club after two party deaths

TACOMA — Tacoma police are investigating a motorcycle club whose parties twice have ended in shooting deaths during the past eight months.

The most recent death was early Sunday after a fight and then gunfire erupted during a party at a downtown Tacoma warehouse. Forty-year-old Bruce D. Price was killed.

The earlier killing was Aug. 27, when 17-year-old Billy Ray Shirley III, was gunned down after an argument in the Nalley Valley.

The News Tribune reports both shootings remain unsolved, with many patrons fleeing in the aftermath of the gunfire before police could interview them.

Donations flow in after playground equipment stolen

YAKIMA — The theft of playground equipment from a Yakima nonprofit last month prompted thousands of dollars in donations.

La Casa Hogar’s executive director says the organization will use the money to upgrade the equipment and make it harder to steal.

If the City Council approves $1,500 in public funds at its meeting tonight, Casa Hogar will have raised $6,000 toward the project, Executive Director Carole Folsom-Hill said Monday.

The plastic playground at the nonprofit — which provides educational services to Hispanic women and early learning for pre-kindergarten children — may have been worth as much as $3,000, Folsom-Hill said earlier.

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