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Wednesday morning's headlines

Zina Linnik
Family photo
Zina Linnik

Making headlines around the Northwest:

  • Lawsuit Alleges Tacoma Officer's Sleep Delayed Amber Alert for Murdered Girl
  • Lab Tests Show 80% of Seattle-area Raw Chickens Have Dangerous Germs
  • State to Hold Earthquake Drill This Morning
  • Malaria Drugs Stolen From Gates Foundation-backed Group

Lawsuit: Tacoma Officer Fell Asleep, Delaying Amber Alert for Zina Linnik

A lawsuit against Tacoma police over the abduction and killing of a 12-year-old girl says an Amber alert was delayed because an officer fell asleep.

Court documents say a detective made the request to department spokesman Mark Fulghum at 4 a.m. on July 5, 2007, but he fell back asleep because he had taken an over-the-counter painkiller and sleep aid. The Amber alert for Zina Linnik wasn't issued until 10 a.m.

Zinnik family attorney Tyler Firkins wrote in a pleading filed Monday that:

Not issuing the alert within the first four hours "deprived Zina of other sources of help, increased the danger to Zina, or both."

But the city says it had no duty to issue an Amber Alert in the case at all.

Using the Amber Alert system is voluntary, said deputy city attorney Jean Homan in a summary judgement:

"The city cannot be held liable for not issuing the alert within four hours when the city is not required to issue an Amber Alert at all."

She also says Zina was killed minutes after being abducted by Terapon Adhahn who confessed.

Fulghum declined to comment for the story in The News Tribune and did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.


80% of Seattle-area Raw Chickens Contain Dangerous Germs, say lab tests

Lab tests done on chickens bought at Seattle-area grocery stores show that 80% of them have dangerous germs.

The Seattle Times reports that out of 100 chickens bought last month, 80 harbored at least one type of disease-causing bacteria - including salmonella. Ten percent of the samples tested positive for the same antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria responsible for epidemic of hospital infections. The tests also revealed that organic chickens were just as likely to be tainted with a wide range of germs. The Times reports the results are similar to other surveys around the country.

The local tests were commissioned by the Seattle law firm Marler Clark, which has built its reputation on food-safety cases.


Washington Residents Encouraged to Join Quake Drill This Morning:

With Japan still dealing with the effects of its devastating earthquake and tsunami, Washington emergency

management officials are inviting residents to participate in a statewide earthquake drill at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

It's part of Disaster Preparedness Month in the state, as outlined in a proclamation from Gov. Chris Gregoire.

State officials offer separate fliers outlining how schools, businesses and residents at home can participate.

The basics: "drop" under a desk or table, "cover" your head or neck with one hand and "hold" onto a desk leg with the other hand for two minutes.

Businesses and families are encouraged to develop emergency plans ahead of time and have emergency kits prepared.Next month: Volcano Awareness.


Gates-backed Group Admits Malaria Drugs Stolen, Sold on Black Market

A non-profit group with ties to the Seattle-based Gates Foundation admits that millions of dollars in malaria drugs may have been stolen and sold on the black market.

The "Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria" believes that millions of dollars worth of its donated malaria drugs have been stolen in recent years - perhaps even millions of dollars worth - much more than previously suspected. That's according to confidential documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The funds's internal investigation comes two months into a new anti-corruption program it launched, after an AP report detailing fraud in their grants attracted intense scrutiny from donors.