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Few volunteers needed at Oso mudslide

DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) - Nearly a month after the mudslide hit Oso, hundreds of people are still searching for bodies and clearing debris, but few of them are volunteers.

A spokeswoman for an incident management team, Koshare (koh-SHAR'-ee) Eagle, says volunteers are likely to be turned away unless they have special expertise or needed equipment. Some people have even offered helicopters and boats, but there's limited space.

A few people who showed up and said they had search dogs actually slowed down operations when it turned out they weren't qualified.

Other volunteers, such as loggers with heavy equipment, have been integrated into the official recovery operation.

Eagle says about a half dozen volunteers - local firefighters and family members - have been working since the beginning. Some other volunteers are managing donations in Arlington.


3rd fast-food robbery this week in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Police are investigating a third fast-food restaurant robbery this week in north Spokane.

A McDonald's restaurant was robbed late Thursday afternoon.

Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said Thursday evening that police have two people of interest in custody in connection with the latest robbery.

Both a McDonald's and a Wendy's were hit earlier in the week.


Wash. police investigate alleged abduction

MILTON, Wash. (AP) - Police in Milton, Wash., say a 19-year-old woman has reported she was abducted from a check-cashing store and held captive for two days before she managed to jump into a stranger's car at a fast-food drive-thru and plead for help.

KOMO-TV reports the woman told investigators she was abducted Tuesday and escaped Thursday morning, when her alleged abductor went to a McDonald's in Milton and she got out of the car and ran to safety. Milton Interim Police Chief Mark Langford says the stranger who helped her drove to a nearby post office and called 911.

Langford says police are still trying to sort out the relationship between the woman and the alleged abductor. Police say they're looking for a 26-year-old man with a criminal history.

Milton is east of Tacoma.


Wash. school principal accused of student assault

WOODLAND, Wash. (AP) - Police in the southwest Washington community of Woodland have arrested an elementary school principal accused of using excessive force to restrain a mentally disabled third-grader.

Chief Brad Gillaspie said Woodland Primary School Principal Mark Houk was booked into jail Thursday for investigation of three counts of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor.

The Columbian reports that Houk is accused of using excessive force several times on Feb. 26 to restrain the child.

Woodland School District Superintendent Michael Green reported Houk to police and placed the principal on administrative leave. Green said Thursday that the district will resume its own internal investigation now that the police investigation is complete.

A message left for Houk at a Woodland phone number was not immediately returned.


Bellevue cop fired over fellow cop's DUI stop

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) - The Bellevue Police Department has fired an officer who did not arrest a fellow officer in a drunken driving stop.

The department says Officer Doug Brennan violated policies last November after he pulled over a car on Interstate 90 near Issaquah.

That driver was off-duty Bellevue Officer Andrew Hanke who was driven home by a family member. Hanke resigned in January while under investigation.

The department announced Brennan was terminated Wednesday.


Seattle police prepare for May Day marchers

SEATTLE (AP) - After violence on May Day the past two years, Seattle police say they're ready for marches this May 1.

Police officials told city council members Wednesday they'll allow peaceful marchers to exercise free-speech rights and they'll be prepared to arrest anyone who commits crimes against people or property.

Last year police used flash bangs and pepper spray and arrested 18 people from a crowd that pelted them with rocks and bottles. Eight officers were injured.

On May Day 2012 masked marchers dressed in black broke windows and doors on downtown banks and stores and tried to set a fire at a federal building.


Pedestrian killed in Puyallup, Wash.

PUYALLUP, Wash. (AP) - Police in Puyallup, Wash., say a car dealership employee who was crossing a street in a crosswalk was struck and killed by a car that also jumped a curb and struck several vehicles in the dealership's parking lot.

Police Capt. Scott Engle says the driver, a 64-year-old Olympia man, was arrested Thursday night for investigation of vehicular homicide. The spokesman says the driver was believed to be under the influence of drugs.

Engle says the driver ran a red light and hit one vehicle before colliding with the 41-year-old male victim, who lived in Federal Way.

The victim was an employee of Korum Ford, where the car came to rest. He was not immediately identified.


Prosecutor: No charges in fake Wash. abduction

SEQUIM, Wash. (AP) - A prosecutor in Sequim (Skwim), Wash., says no charges will be filed against twin brothers who say they're responsible for staging a fake child abduction in a park that terrified onlookers who thought it was real.

City Attorney Craig Ritchie tells the Peninsula Daily News that, in his words, "Scaring the hell out of people is not, as far as I can determine, a crime."

Brothers Jason and Jeremy Holden say they were the two masked men who grabbed a young boy from a park bench last Saturday and sped off in a van. Jason Holden says they staged and recorded the incident to create a video on child abduction awareness.

After seeing the fear of those in the park, he says, "We weren't happy about that at all."

The prosecutor says city codes don't require permits for filming and a dangerous conduct charge would be tough to pursue since nobody was hurt.


Fish ladder working at dam

BEVERLY, Wash. (AP) - The modified fish ladders are working at the damaged Wanapum Dam, but wildlife officials still plan to catch and transport some salmon and steelhead around the structure in trucks.

In total, 61 fish that had been waiting in the pool below the dam passed safely through the modified ladder on the first day Tuesday.

The Yakima Herald-Republican reported Thursday that some migrating fish are also being trucked around the dam and released upriver to reach spawning grounds.

After a 65-foot-long fracture was discovered in one of the dam's concrete spillways in late February, the water level was drawn down by 26 feet to reduce pressure on the crack. The dam stabilized, but it left the fish ladders high and dry.


Flowers blooming for Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - Most flower fields near Mount Vernon will be in full bloom this weekend as the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival continues through the month of April.

Visitors are drawn to the agricultural valley north of Seattle every year to view acres of brightly colored blooms that stretch in neat rows toward picturesque farmhouses. Bulbs and blooms are available for sale.

Various community activities coincide with the festival, including the annual "Tulip Pedal" bike ride this Saturday in nearby La Conner, which offers riders distances of 20, 40, and 60 miles.

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