In brief: Coalition ready to unveil state budget
OLYMPIA – A Republican-dominated coalition in the Washington state Senate is set to unveil its budget proposal.
The Majority Coalition Caucus announced Tuesday night that it planned a news conference today to announce the details of the plan.
Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled his proposal last week, laying out plans to make some temporary taxes permanent and to end some tax exemptions to address both the state’s projected budget deficit and a court-ordered requirement to put more money into the state’s basic education system.
Lawmakers are in the midst of a 105-day legislative session. They are tasked with patching a projected deficit of more than $1.2 billion for the next two-year budget ending in mid-2015.
Three killed outside tavern identified
SEATTLE – The King County medical examiner’s office has identified three men who were shot and killed outside a tavern in Auburn early Sunday.
The office said Tuesday that 21-year-old Antaun Greer and 23-year-old Lorenzo Duncan died of multiple gunshot wounds, while 26-year-old Nicholas Lindsay was shot in the torso. Their deaths were ruled homicides.
Police said a dispute between two women on the dance floor escalated into gunfire in the parking lot.
A fourth man was wounded and was being treated at a Seattle hospital.
A 28-year-old man accused of firing a handgun into the crowd after seeing his friend get shot was arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was ordered held on $250,000 bail.
Police continue to search for those responsible for the shooting.
UI administrator takes job at Illinois school
CHICAGO – Northern Illinois University announced its new president on Tuesday, naming a University of Idaho administrator to the post.
NIU’s board of trustees said during an afternoon meeting that Douglas Baker, the University of Idaho’s provost and executive vice president, will become the DeKalb school’s 12th president. Baker, 57, will replace John Peters, who announced in October that he planned to retire in June after 13 years leading the school.
Baker’s appointment is effective July 1.
Baker has been at UI since 2005. He previously was at Washington State University, where he was vice provost for academic affairs and director of the Office of Undergraduate Affairs.
Man finds body in abandoned foundry
LONGVIEW, Wash. – Police say a man collecting scrap metal found a body in an abandoned Longview, Wash., metal foundry.
The body was found Tuesday afternoon in a 20-foot-deep concrete pit, Capt. Robert Huhta said. He said it had been there at least a week.
Huhta called the death suspicious but said detectives were just beginning their investigation.
Fired that burned three homes called arson
SEATTLE – There was no electricity to a detached garage or any other accidental cause for a two-alarm fire that spread to three residential buildings Monday night in Seattle and caused $615,000 damage.
Fire department spokesman Kyle Moore said investigators determined Tuesday that the fire was intentionally set and turned the case over to the police arson squad.
There were no serious injuries, but 10 people were displaced from the three older, wood multiplexes in the city’s lower Queen Anne neighborhood.
One of the buildings was destroyed and two damaged.
Moore said the fire was set in the garage, which didn’t have a door and was full of materials that easily burned.