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Monday morning's headlines

Today is the last day to file federal income tax returns. The deadline was extended three days because the District of Columbia celebrated Emancipation Day on April 15.
Today is the last day to file federal income tax returns. The deadline was extended three days because the District of Columbia celebrated Emancipation Day on April 15.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Late tax day postmarks at 3 Western Washington locations
  • Fire-damaged pagoda repair estimate: $500,000
  • Gas Prices Continue to Climb: Over $4.00 in Bellingham
  • ACLU to Senators: Ignore Governor's Threat to Veto Pot Bill

It's Tax Day. Need a Late Postmark?

As the IRS income tax deadline falls at midnight, the Postal Service says it will have three locations in Western Washington where last-minute filers can drop off their returns until 11:59 p.m.  - in Seattle, Tacoma and Everett - and get Monday's postmark.

The three drop-off locations:

  • Riverton Station, 15250 32nd Ave. S., Seattle
  • Tacoma Mail Processing Center, 4001 S. Pine St.
  • Everett Mail Processing Facility, 8120 Hardeson Road

Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson says mailers also can buy dated postage at 24-hour Automated Postal Centers. Locations can be found on The Postal Service recommends that you use the envelopes provided by the IRS and make sure you use enough postage to mail your return - new postal rates recently went into effect.


Repairs to fire-damaged pagoda about $500,000

Repairing a fire-damaged pagoda at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is likely to cost about $500,000.

The company hired to do initial work told the News Tribune it will take three to six months.

Jeff Lauer with Belfor property-restoration company directed workers Saturday as they removed broken roof tiles and other debris left over from Friday morning's fire.

He says the 97-year-old building's plumbing, electrical and heating systems were damaged beyond repair. The copper gutters, ornate doors and millwork inside the building will need to be replaced.

The Tacoma Fire Department's initial damage estimate was $250,000 to the structure and $20,000 to its contents.

Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said Friday the origin of the fire was "suspicious in nature."


AAA: Average price of gas in Washington $3.92

The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.92.

That's 9 cents higher than the national average and up 4 cents in a week and 23 cents in a month.

Some prices for cities from the AAA's survey for Monday:

  • Bellingham $4.02
  • Bremerton $3.96
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.94
  • Olympia $3.96
  • Tacoma $3.93,
  • Vancouver $3.85

Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell called a news conference Monday in Seattle to talk about the impact of high gas prices on families and businesses.

Cantwell has been asking federal regulators to prevent excessive speculation and market manipulation of fuel prices.


ACLU urges senators to move medical marijuana bill

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is urging state senators to ignore Gov. Chris Gregoire's threat to veto a bill that would set up a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system.

The House and Senate have passed legislation to license dispensaries.

But after a warning from federal prosecutors of arrest liability for employees who break federal law, Gregoire said she'd veto legislation that requires state workers to implement a licensing system.

The legislative director of the ACLU says the federal government has never prosecuted anyone who complies with state laws that license and regulate medical marijuana.

Shankar Narayan says in a letter to senators that the measure contains important tools for local governments.

He says Washington residents want the state, and not the federal government, to make medical marijuana laws.