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Obama to visit mudslide

OLYMPIA — President Obama will visit parts of Snohomish County devastated by the mudslide on April 22.

The White House notified Gov. Jay Inslee that Obama will get a first-hand look at the devastation and the communities’ reaction in Oso, Arlington and Darrington, Inslee’s office said this morning. Obama plans to meet with families, first responders and recovery workers.

The president has monitored events in the slide area since it occurred on March 22, Inslee said. “He and his team have been important partners in the response effort and I believe this visit will strengthen those ties as we face the tough work ahead,” he added.

The slide sent a square mile of debris down a hillside above the Stillaguamish River, cutting State Route 530 and wiping out much of the town of Oso. It left 33 confirmed dead and another 12 people are still missing.

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.