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City of Tacoma

Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Nearly six months have passed since Tacoma police officer Khanh Phan drove his patrol vehicle through a crowd of people in a downtown intersection.

Cranes have become more familiar fixtures of the Tacoma skyline as growth has increased in the City of Destiny in recent years.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The City of Tacoma is canceling a contract with the organization in charge of managing a proposed community trauma response team. 

 

The sun shines above the Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma with the distinctive hot shop cone of the Museum of Glass in the background.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file


Fifty-one arts and cultural organizations in Tacoma are getting a boost to their budgets this year thanks to a voter-approved sales tax fund. Passed in 2018, the arts and culture tax amounts to one cent on every $10 spent in the city. This year, $4 million is being distributed to organizations large and small. 

Skid marks are visible along Plummer Street in the Chatsworth section of Los Angeles on Feb. 28, 2015, following an early-morning illegal street-racing crash that killed two bystanders.
Nick Ut / The Associated Press file

Measures to prevent street racing are on two city council agendas Tuesday in Pierce County.

Law enforcement fills a Tacoma intersection on Jan. 23 after a police officer responding to reports of street racing drove through a crowd. The burned rubber from the illegal racing and burnouts marks the pavement at Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

In January, social-media videos circulated widely in Tacoma and beyond. They showed a Tacoma police officer driving his patrol vehicle through a group of people. Two were injured.

Officer Khanh Phan was responding to an illegal gathering of people watching drivers do stunts in cars in a downtown intersection. Police say he feared for his life when some people in the crowd gathered around his vehicle.

The streets of downtown Tacoma are empty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Tom Collins

Thursday marks the start of negotiations between the city of Tacoma and Tacoma Police Union Local No. 6 on a new contract.

 

Will Hausa is one of two community members who will be joining the city at the bargaining table for the first time. He is a member of the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective and chairman of the state Commission on African American Affairs.

 

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards declared Monday March 1 COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day in Tacoma.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

A prayer service and lighting ceremony on Monday night in Tacoma commemorated COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day, an observance Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards declared for March 1.

A sign directs vehicles toward a drive-up testing site at the Tacoma Dome in March. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department hosted the coronavirus testing site for several days for high-risk groups at the start of the pandemic.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press (file)

A controversial proposal to dissolve the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department will not move forward.

Will James / KNKX


Update: The Pierce County medical examiner's office has identified the victim of the shooting as Patrick N. Shenaurlt, 38, of Parkland, and ruled his death a homicide. The cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds.

A man who was homeless was shot and killed during a suspected vigilante attack on a Tacoma encampment last week, according to court documents and witnesses.

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.

The long-vacant Gault Middle School building in Tacoma.
Will James / KNKX

UPDATE, Nov. 24: A protest organized by Tacoma housing advocates Monday night ended with a march to the home of the city’s mayor. The demonstration started at the Tacoma Mall, where activists called for creation of a so-called community land trust, to guarantee more affordable housing in the city.

People gathered on the East 34th Street bridge to remember the late Harold Moss on Thursday. The bridge was renamed for Moss last year. The Tacoma civil rights icon died Sept. 21.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Members of the community gathered Thursday to remember Tacoma civil rights icon Harold Moss, who died last week. Services were held on what would have been his 91st birthday.

People regard Moss as a trailblazer who fought, among other injustices, the discriminatory real-estate practice of redlining.

Thursday’s events included a socially distanced funeral with people in their cars, and a procession over the East 34th Street bridge, which was renamed for Moss last year.

Community members gathered in June for a celebration of life for Manuel Ellis, who was killed by Tacoma police in March. In this photo, one of the attendees hangs a flyer with Ellis’ image that says “Happy Father’s Day Manny.”
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

More than six months have passed since 33-year-old Manuel Ellis was killed by Tacoma police on a residential street in March. He died after telling officers he couldn't breathe. The medical examiner ruled it a homicide. 

Since then, Ellis' death has sparked protests, vigils, efforts to reform statewide police-accountability laws, and legal action against the City of Tacoma. Meanwhile, the state patrol is investigating whether any of the four Tacoma officers who were at the scene should be charged with crimes. Ellis became a local example of the inequities people around the country were protesting after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. 

Attorney James Bible, bottom right, and the family of the late Manuel Ellis are seen at a press conference in June. On Friday, Bible announced the family's plan to seek $30 million in damages in a lawsuit against the city of Tacoma.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Nearly six months after Manuel Ellis was killed by Tacoma police, his family says they plan to seek $30 million in damages in a lawsuit against the city.

The family's attorney, James Bible, said he planned to file a precursor to a lawsuit known as a tort claim with the city on Friday afternoon. 

The announcement came on what would have been Ellis' 34th birthday. 

In this 2019 file photo, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards speaks at a press conference.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Leaders of Washington cities outside of Seattle are asking to be included in federal coronaivurs relief plans. 

The third COVID-19 package that Congress passed late last month included $150 billion for state and local governments. But only cities with more than 500,000 people are eligible for direct funding from that package. In Washington, only Seattle meets the population threshold. 

The streets of downtown Tacoma are empty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Tom Collins

Tacoma City Council recently issued a statement condemning acts of discrimination, citing an increase in reports around the region and nation from Asian-American community members and other marginalized groups experiencing racism amid COVID-19.

Tacoma Citizens for Schools

UPDATE, Feb. 12: Adds preliminary results for some school districts, including Tacoma, Bellevue and Burlington-Edison and comments from the state superintendent. 

School districts around the Puget Sound region are taking stock of initial voting results for bond measures and levies. According to the state superintendent's office, almost 90 percent of local capital and operating levies are passing. 

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

It's not only a new year but Jan. 1 also marks the start of new regulations on recycling for residents of King and Pierce counties.  

Seattle Public Utilities and King County Solid Waste are no longer accepting plastic bags or plastic wraps in curbside bins. (Pierce County already made this change). Instead, residents are asked to bundle these thin plastics up at home and take them to drop off sites at retail stores.

The main reason for the change is that thin plastics get caught in the gears of the sorting machines that separate different kinds of recycling. 

West Coast cities, including Seattle and Portland, have had states of emergency in place around homelessness for several years. But many of those declarations are open-ended, lacking definitions of what it would take to end the crisis.

Tacoma City Council members settled on such a definition last week.

Will James / KNKX

Tacoma has invested millions of dollars in a sanctioned encampment where caseworkers act to move people from homelessness to housing. 

With funding for the "stability site" set to run out at the end of the year, city officials are now weighing the program's cost and effectiveness as they consider how, and whether, to keep it open. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Voters in this fall's election made Tacoma the first city in Washington state to say yes to an expansion of arts and culture programs funded by a new sales tax.

Will James / KNKX

This is a breaking news story. We will update this post with new information as it develops. 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have opened an investigation into the death of an immigrant detainee in Tacoma last month.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Leaders in Tacoma, home to one of the nation's largest detention centers for immigrants facing deportation, may vote Tuesday to express disapproval with the Trump administration's approach to border enforcement.

Will James / KNKX

City Council members, a congressman — even a U.S. senator — gathered Monday to celebrate the start of a new light rail project that will one day speed people through Tacoma's busiest corridors. 

But local leaders also sought to assuage fears that the project will accelerate gentrification in the Hilltop, a historically African-American neighborhood that has already undergone drastic changes as Tacoma's housing costs soar.

Will James / KNKX

This story originally aired on November 18, 2017.

If you go to the base of Point Defiance in Tacoma and look east, you'll see a finger of earth jutting into Puget Sound. 

It formed as toxic slag spilled from a copper smelter during the city's industrial heyday. 

For years, it was a foreboding sliver of black, glassy material. Today, workers and machines roam the peninsula as they transform it into a grassy park with Puget Sound views.

Will James / KNKX

Leaders in Tacoma have hired two artists-in-residence to help the city grapple with human elements of a homelessness crisis.

"Moving day for Russell" by Scott Hingst is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2Ft6FfX

State Farm Insurance is clearing out of Tacoma by the end of the year, the company said Thursday, meaning some 1,400 jobs will leave the city's downtown as local leaders name attracting employers as a top priority. 

"Old Buildings With Adverts In Tacoma" by Bradley Gordon is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2mth1EP

Tacoma's city council this week approved a property tax break of about $250,000 a year for a developer of market-rate apartments that are expected to rent for $1,200 to $1,600 a month. 

It's a common practice in the city, despite a growing need for less expensive housing. Tacoma had among the nation's the fastest-rising rents last year, according to the listing service RENTCafe. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The City of Tacoma's legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation is struggling to attract donors. 

Just under $2,000 has flowed in from 21 donors since the fund's creation in late October.

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