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Friday morning's headlines

Elaine Thompson
A fire investigator peers out of a charred top-floor apartment where a fire broke out earlier yesterday (Thurs.) near Seattle’s Green Lake. Firefighters quickly doused the 11th floor fire, in the same building as a fatal fire in 2010, adjacent to I-5.

Sunshine and 65 today; rain likely this weekend

In the headlines this morning:

  • Protests Over Principal Firings in Puyallup and Seattle
  • Two Tacoma Elementary Schools to Close
  • 2012 Washington Presidential Primary Cancelled
  • Firefighters Douse 2-Alarm Green Lake Blaze

Angry parents, teachers protest principal firings in Seattle, Puyallup

It's been quite a week for high schools in the region. 

Seattle's school board faced a big rally of angry parents and teachers late yesterday afternoon (Thurs) after interim schools superintendant Susan Enfield ousted the popular principal of Ingraham High, Martin Floe. According to the Seattle Times, Enfield cited 'stagnant' test scores and said Ingraham was the second-lowest performing high school in the Seattle district.

Meantime, in Puyallup, students, parents and teachers at Rogers High School are still reeling from the news that Principal Scott Brittain has resigned and will step down at the end of next month.

A packed and emotional school board meeting earlier this week (Monday) didn't persuade the 5-member Puyallup school board to keep Britain on the job.  He's rumored to have violated school policies and lied to his supervisors about travel arrangements for band competition in Ellensburg. 

According to the News Tribune, the hearing about the Puyallup district's personnel agenda was so heated that the board voted adjourn it to another location.  One student called Superintendent Tony Apostle a 'bully.'


Tacoma Board Closing Two Elementary Schools

A $23-millon dollar shortfall in the coming year has led the Tacoma School District to close two elementary schools. 

Despite tears and protests from parents, staff members and students, the school board announced last night (Thursday,) it will shut down McKinley Elementary on the city's east side and Wainwright Elementary, in Fircrest. 

According to the News Tribune, board members said the schools could re-open in the future, when the district's elementary enrollment is expected to rise.

But the district says it is already spending $10 million dollars from its reserves over the next three years and can't responsibly keep the schools open right now.


State Cancels 2012 Presidential Primary

Washington state has canceled its 2012 presidential primary.

Governor Chris Gregoire  approved a bill Thursday to skip the primary after state leaders agreed that it would be better to save the $10 million it costs to manage the vote. Democrats and Republicans in the state typically rely on caucuses, not the primary, to choose candidates and allocate delegates for their national conventions.

Secretary of State Sam Reed prefers the primary system over caucuses because it draws more participation. But the Republican supports suspending the 2012 presidential vote as a one-time way to save money as lawmakers try to deal with a $5 billion shortfall in the coming budget cycle.

The state will still hold its top-two primary in August for other 2012 races.


2-alarm fire quickly doused in Seattle high-rise

Seattle firefighters quickly doused a fire in an apartment building that was the scene of a fatal blaze last year.

KING5-TV reports the fire broke out Thursday afternoon in the top floor of the Seattle Housing Authority's Green Lake Plaza, an 11-story high-rise close to Interstate 5.

Four people reportedly suffered minor smoke inhalation.

The 40-year-old cinderblock building has no sprinkler systems because it was built before city codes required them.