In brief: Wage hike measure still holds slim lead
SEATAC, Wash. – An initiative that seeks to establish a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac is leading by 46 votes.
After Saturday’s ballot drop, the measure was passing with 2,936 “yes” votes compared to 2,890 “no” votes.
On election night, the initiative was leading by a 261-vote margin – a decent gap in a race that’s likely to draw maybe 6,000 total votes.
Washington has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour; the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
State voter turnout lowest in decade
SEATTLE – Statewide voter turnout in the November election was the lowest in a decade.
So far, statewide turnout was about 44.5 percent, the Seattle Times reported, less than the 51 percent officials predicted.
Several thousand ballots left to be counted could edge the figure up a bit. But Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office said it will remain the lowest turnout since 2003, when just 40.5 percent of voters cast ballots.
November turnout was lowest in Yakima County at 37.5 percent and highest in Jefferson County at about 65 percent.
Since 1980, turnout in off-year elections has averaged 51 percent. That compares with 79 percent in presidential-election years and 62 percent during midterm elections.
Would-be officer faces theft charges
EVERETT – A Washington man trying to become an officer is facing charges after police say he confessed to theft during a ride-along.
The 26-year-old man also admitted the theft on his application to become a police officer in Lake Stevens, north of Seattle, the Daily Herald reported, citing records. He said the theft occurred in Everett, west of Lake Stevens.
Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell said Michael Clark, of Marysville, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree theft, a felony. He appeared in court in Everett on Friday and was ordered released without bail.
Clark told a Lake Stevens officer last month that he paid a friend $300 to steal his vehicle three years ago, police said. He then collected nearly $12,000 in insurance money, police said.
In court papers, police wrote that prosecutors determined that the statute of limitations had not expired.
It’s unclear if Clark has a lawyer, and a listed number for him could not be found.
Officials suspend search for body
LEWISTON – Authorities have suspended a weeklong search of the Snake River west of Clarkston prompted by a report that a body might be in the river.
Asotin County Sheriff Ken Bancroft told the Lewiston Tribune that nothing was found during the search that ended Friday but that the search could resume when resources are available.
Nez Perce County officials assisted in the search that involved a boat with specialized sonar.
There are several active missing person cases in the area, but authorities didn’t specifically link the recent search with any of those cases.