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Tuesday morning's headlines

Alan Cordova
City of Seattle protects Hat 'n' Boots in Georgetown.

We've been here before: 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 70. Forecast here.

Making headlines around the Northwest:

Washington state workers decline prize

A group of six Washington Transportation Department employees turned down a productivity prize of as much as $10,000 each that they won for finding a way to save $6 million over three years for highway de-icing salt.

A maintenance director, Chris Christopher, says they felt the improvement was part of their jobs.

The snow and ice team agreed to share a $1,000 prize awarded Friday by the state Productivity Board.

The Olympian reports it was the last meeting of the board which has been eliminated by state budget cuts.

KOMO-TV reports the team was able to save money on deicing salt by changing contracting rules. The state now uses salt barged in from Mexico or Chile instead of being brought in by rail from Utah.

Off the AP wire: 

  • A man on trial for the vicious stabbings of a lesbian couple in Seattle two years ago says he wants to testify in his own defense. KOMO-TV reports that Isaiah Kalebu told the judge about his plans yesterday when the prosecution rested its case — and he asked the judge to be wrapped in an American flag to hide his shackles when he does so. The judge set a hearing for today.
  • Authorities say a suspect in a 1983 murder in Oklahoma was arrested when he showed up at the U.S. border in Washington state and tried to enroll in a "trusted traveler" program for frequent border crossers.
  • Vancouver police are investigating a woman's death in a duplex. Detective Sgt. Scott Creager tells The Columbian that officers responded to a call at the residence last evening. The victim was not identified.
  • Homicide detectives in Seattle are investigating the death of a man whose body was found yesterday when officers were asked to check on him because he hadn't reported to work for several days. Police say they found his body with obvious injuries near a sliding glass door at the back of the home in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.
  • Police say a shooting that wounded a 25-year-old man in Yakima appears to be gang-related. Witnesses say the victim and two other people were walking in an alley yesterday afternoon when a car stopped. The driver got out, fired multiple shots, then drove off.
  • Montana authorities say two people from Washington state escaped serious injury when a small airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from West Glacier on Sunday.

Widows of 2 slain Washington officers file claim

The widows of two of four slain Lakewood, Wash., police officers have filed a damages claim that accuses the Washington Department of Corrections of bungling its supervision of the killer.

The Seattle Times reports the claim filed Monday attempts to make Corrections a culpable party in the Nov. 29, 2009, killings by alleging lapses in the agency's supervision of Maurice Clemmons. The claim's most serious contention accuses Corrections field staff of wrongly ignoring an Arkansas arrest warrant issued in October 2009 against Clemmons, then held in the Pierce County Jail on a child rape accusation.

Clemmons made bail six days before he ambushed the officers at a coffee shop. He was killed by a Seattle patrolman after a two-day manhunt. Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail says the agency does not discuss pending litigation.

Hat 'n' Boots roadside landmark to be protected

The City of Seattle wants to ensure Hat n’ Boots will remain a roadside attraction. The 57-year-old iconic Hat 'n' Boots in Georgetown has been named a historic landmark by the city.

KING-5 reported that the 44-foot wide cowboy hat and 22-foot high boots were built in 1954 and were once part of a Western-style gas station along Highway 99. The big hat hung over the cashier and the boots were restrooms.

"They're a unique roadside attraction," said Allan Phillips, who worked hard to restore Hat n' Boots.  "There were lots of Paul Bunyans, there were lots of teepees, but there's only one Hat n' Boots."

Also, on the list of newly protected landmarks are the Dakota Place Park building – built in 1930 in West Seattle. And the Ankey-Gowey House built in 1891 in Queen Anne.

All three landmarks will be under the care and protection of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ Historic Preservation Program.