Gene Johnson | KNKX

Gene Johnson

Associated Press Reporter
The National Archives building Seattle.
National Archives

The Biden administration has halted its predecessor’s decision to sell the federal archives building in Seattle, following months of opposition from people across the Pacific Northwest and a lawsuit.

State Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, became a lawyer after being incarcerated. She sponsored legislation to restore voting rights to people who have been released from prison after committing felonies, even if they're still on parole.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed a bill automatically restoring voting rights to people who have been released from prison after committing felonies, even if they are still on parole — a measure sponsored by a lawmaker who was herself formerly incarcerated.

State Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Bremerton, became a lawyer after being incarcerated. She sponsored legislation to restore voting rights to people who have been released from prison after committing felonies, even if they're still on parole.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Washington state lawmakers have voted to automatically restore voting rights to people who have been released from prison after committing felonies, even if they’re still on parole.

A “Now Hiring” sign hangs at a Safeway store on Thursday in Seattle. A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block a $4-an-hour pay increase for Seattle grocery workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed an industry lawsuit that sought to block a $4-an-hour pay boost for Seattle grocery workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, endangered orcas from the J pod swim in Puget Sound west of Seattle, as seen from a federal research vessel that has been tracking the whales.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press file

For more than a decade, Brad Hanson and other researchers have tailed the Pacific Northwest's endangered killer whales in a hard-sided inflatable boat, leaning over the edge with a standard pool skimmer to collect clues to their diet: bits of orca poop floating on the water, or fish scales sparkling just below the surface.

Small baggies of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
Miami Police Department / The Associated Press file

In a decision with implications for tens of thousands of cases dating back decades, the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state’s felony drug possession law because — unlike the laws of every other state — it did not require prosecutors to prove someone knowingly or intentionally possessed drugs.

Northwest Detention Center
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The Washington House of Representatives voted Tuesday to ban for-profit, private detention facilities in the state, in a move aimed at shutting down the Northwest immigration detention center in Tacoma.

Police on motorcycles escort a protest march in Tacoma on June 1, 2020, against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

The Washington state Senate on Tuesday approved a measure requiring police to intervene if they see a fellow officer using excessive force — one of several measures in the Legislature prompted by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests last year.

Tim Eyman listens Wednesday during a session of Thurston County Superior Court in Olympia. Eyman, who ran initiative campaigns across Washington for decades, will no longer be allowed to have any financial control over political committees, under a ruling
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Tim Eyman, the watch salesman-turned-antitax folk hero whose initiative campaigns have bedeviled state and local governments across Washington for decades, will no longer be allowed to have any financial control over political committees, under a judge’s ruling Wednesday that found he used donors' contributions to line his own pocket.

In this Jan. 6 photo, Ethan Nordean, with backward baseball hat and bullhorn, leads members of the Proud Boys in marching before the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Nordean, 30, of Auburn has said he is the sergeant-at-arms of the Seattle Proud Boys chapter.
Carolyn Kaster / The Associated Press

The self-described “sergeant-at-arms” of the Seattle chapter of the far-right group Proud Boys will remain in custody for now pending charges filed in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In this Sept. 14, 2016, photo, Pat McCarthy speaks at the AWB Policy Summit in Cle Elum during her campaign for state auditor.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

A Washington agency examining how the state fell victim to massive unemployment fraud last year said Monday that files on 1.6 million claims that it obtained for its investigation have been exposed by a data breach — meaning people who already lost work due the pandemic might have to add identity theft to their difficulties.

Washington state is failing hundreds of foster children by shuttling them among placements, including short-term stays in hotels and state offices, advocacy groups alleged in a federal lawsuit — a problem that the responsible state agency has recognized.

In this Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, Nick Brown, then-counsel to Gov. Jay Inslee, takes questions at the Capitol in Olympia.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are recommending a pair of firsts for Washington state’s two U.S. attorney posts.

Nick Brown, the former general counsel to Gov. Jay Inslee, would be the first Black top federal prosecutor in western Washington, and Vanessa Waldref, a Justice Department environmental lawyer and former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane, would be the first woman to run the shop there.

Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer, appears for an arraignment at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent  in February 2011.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press file

Genetic genealogy helped identify the youngest known victim of one of the nation's most prolific serial killers almost 37 years after her remains were discovered near a baseball field south of Seattle.

Airlift Northwest flight nurse Mikaela Hagberg looks on as she receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations at UW Medicine on Dec. 15, 2020, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

On the anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States, Amazon said Thursday it will host a one-day vaccination drive in Seattle this weekend to inoculate as many as 2,000 people.

This 2009 photo shows Than Orn with his children Crystalyn, left and Jayden, right, during a hike near Mount Rainier. The City of Tacoma has agreed to an $8 million settlement for Orn, who was paralyzed and had his legs amputated after being shot by a pol
PCVA Law / The Associated Press

The City of Tacoma on Friday agreed to an $8 million settlement for a man who was paralyzed and had his legs amputated after being shot by a police officer during a low-speed car chase in 2011.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, left, speaks as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Seattle, where Ferguson announced a lawsuit against agrochemical giant Monsanto over pollution from PCBs.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press (file)

SEATTLE (AP) — The agrochemical giant Monsanto has agreed to pay Washington state $95 million to settle a lawsuit that blamed it for pervasive pollution from PCBs — toxic industrial chemicals that have accumulated in plants, fish and people around the globe for decades.

Workers put up plywood over the windows of a Seattle police precinct Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle, where protests continued the night before over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — A Black Lives Matter group sued the Seattle Police Department Tuesday to halt the violent tactics it has used to break up largely peaceful protests in recent days.

Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County filed the emergency lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

In this Dec. 3, 2019 file photo, Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Heck said Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 that he is retiring from Congress and is currently serving his fourth term representing Washington's 10th Distri
Susan Walsh / The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Democratic Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state announced Wednesday that he is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, saying his work on the investigation into Russian election interference and the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump have “rendered my soul weary.”

William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the EPA, poses Monday, April 13, 2009, at his office in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — William Doyle Ruckelshaus, who famously quit his job in the U.S. Justice Department rather than carry out President Richard Nixon's order to fire the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, has died. He was 87. (Listen to an interview Ruckelshaus did with KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp here.)

In this photo taken Sept. 10, 2019, workers are shown in the kitchen of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Tacoma, Wash. during a media tour.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge who previously ruled that Washington state could pursue its claim that immigration detainees must be paid minimum wage for work at a privately run, for-profit immigration jail said Tuesday he intends to reverse himself at the urging of the Trump administration.

U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan issued a proposed order notifying lawyers for the state and for the GEO Group, which operates the large immigration detention center in Tacoma, that he plans to dismiss the case. He gave them until Oct. 4 to respond.

Jim Mone / AP Photo

 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says police don't need permission to record their interactions with citizens using cameras worn on their uniforms.

In an opinion issued Monday, Ferguson says interactions with on-duty police are presumed to be public, and therefore officers are under no obligation to turn off the cameras if people object to being recorded — even if the conversation is being recorded in someone's home.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington state is warning dozens of people who applied to run legal marijuana shops that their chance of getting a license is in jeopardy.

The Liquor Control Board on Wednesday began sending letters to 56 businesses. The board says they scored lucky numbers in lotteries conducted in April, putting them in a good position to win a coveted marijuana retail license, but they haven't moved forward with their applications since then.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Washington state have begun.

Eager customers bought pot at 8 a.m. at Bellingham's Top Shelf Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle that started selling marijuana as soon as was allowed under state regulations.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

College student Jon Meis, who has shied away from the spotlight since he ended a Seattle campus shooting by pepper-spraying the gunman last week, said Monday it's hard to accept his status as a hero.

Meis, 22, and his family have declined media requests since the shooting, with relatives going as far as to ask his high school not to grant interviews about him.

But on Monday, Meis issued a written statement through Seattle Pacific University, where the shooting occurred Thursday.

Donald Douglass had a small spot on his forehead when he went to the Seattle Veterans Affairs hospital in 2011.

A biopsy confirmed it was cancerous. But it was four months before the hospital scheduled an appointment for him to have it removed, and by then, it had spread, wrapping around a facial nerve and eventually getting into his blood.

The delay proved fatal, his lawyer said, and it mirrors concerns being raised about the VA system nationally.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado — a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that's long been illegal under federal law.

Ed Andrieski / AP Photo

Washington state's first legal marijuana license is going to a guy named Green.

The Associated Press has learned that Spokane grower Sean Green, the chief executive of a company called Kouchlock Productions, is due to be issued a producer-processor license at the state Liquor Control Board meeting in Olympia on Wednesday morning.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP Photo

Washington's Supreme Court says people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages they send from their phones — even if they can't know for sure who might be reading them.

A judge has thrown out true-crime author Ann Rule's defamation lawsuit against a weekly Seattle newspaper.

Rule sued the Seattle Weekly and freelance author Rick Swart over a piece published in 2011 that accused her of "sloppy storytelling" and criticized her book about an Oregon woman who killed her husband.

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