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In brief: Mental hospital near accreditation

Eastern State Hospital is one step closer to regaining accreditation, state officials announced Monday.

The Medical Lake psychiatric hospital’s accreditation status was suspended in December by the reviewing agency, citing concerns about health and safety issues for both patients and staff.

The decision came a month after a patient was strangled by another patient at the hospital. The accreditation agency, the Joint Commission, said the incident wasn’t the reason for the suspension, although reviewers took it into account.

Corrections are continuing to be made, said John Wiley, spokesman for the state Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the hospital.

One or possibly two more reviews by the agency are expected before Eastern State Hospital can regain full accreditation.

Motel room raid leads to fugitive

LINCOLN CITY, Ore. – Police stormed a motel room in a seaside town Tuesday evening and captured a Washington state man suspected of killing his grandparents, ending a multistate search and a tense daylong standoff at the motel.

“Everyone’s safe. No one’s hurt,” Lincoln City police Chief Keith Kilian said.

Police had spent much of the day trying to persuade Michael Boysen to surrender. After breaching the motel room door, they stormed in and captured him.

Boysen, 26, was found lying on the floor on his back with a self-inflicted cut, Kilian said. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Boysen was alive, but the severity of his injury was not immediately clear, Kilian said.

During Tuesday’s siege in the Oregon tourist town of Lincoln City, police pointed rifles at the motel, fired blasts from a water cannon and used a bullhorn to try to persuade Boysen to give up.

Police used a robot equipped with a video camera and a microphone to communicate with him. When Boysen didn’t come out on his own, police went in after him.

Bill would expand pot selling locales

OLYMPIA – Last year’s recreational marijuana law needs to be changed to allow for more locations where the drug can be sold and charge higher prices for the rights to sell it, a legislator said Tuesday.

Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, will hold a hearing next week on a proposal that would shrink the areas where stores would be banned, and instead have the state sell store licenses at market rates to raise more money.

Under Initiative 502, a store selling recreational marijuana must be at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks and other institutions. That would so severely restrict possible locations that large areas of cities would be closed off, Hurst said.

His proposal would change the distance restriction to 500 feet, the current rule for liquor stores.

I-502 also sets a licensing fee of $1,000 for a marijuana store. Hurst’s bill would allow the state Liquor Control Board to set a market value on the right to sell marijuana, which could be much higher, depending on the location.

He estimated the market certificate system could raise as much as $50 million for the state’s general operating fund.

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