Human Trafficking bills head to Gov. Inslee
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Several bills related to human trafficking in Washington state are going to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk for his signature.
Senate Bill 6339, which would make it a crime to coerce someone to perform labor or services by withholding or threatening to withhold or destroy someone's immigration status papers, was delivered to Inslee Monday after passing through the Senate and House.
House Bill 1791 passed unanimously through the House Monday, after representatives concurred on amendments made by the Senate. Under the measure, the charge of trafficking in the first degree would be added under the umbrella of sex offenses.
House Bill 1292, also passed unanimously Monday after the House concurred on amendments made by the Senate, would allow a victim of trafficking to have prostitution convictions cleared from their record.
Legislature OKs veteran designation on licenses
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Legislature has passed a measure that would allow military veterans to have a special designation on their driver's license or ID card.
The Senate on Monday unanimously approved Senate Bill 5775 after concurring with some changes made in the House. The bill now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. Under the measure, veterans must provide their Department of Defense discharge document or separation papers, which must show that the applicant's service was honorable.
Once the measure is signed by the governor, it takes effect August 30, 2017.
DETENTION CENTER HUNGER STRIKE
Dozens of immigration detainees on hunger strike
SEATTLE (AP) - An immigrant-rights attorney says detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Washington state are being threatened with forced feeding if they continue their hunger strike.
Hundreds of immigration detainees began the strike Friday. Under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rules, any detainee who doesn't eat for 72 hours will be referred for medical evaluation and possible treatment.
ICE said medical personnel are evaluating who falls into that category.
An ICE official confirmed that detainees are being advised of the potential consequences of remaining on a hunger strike, including forced feeding.
Attorney Sandy Restrepo says she spoke on Monday with three striking detainees who are physically fatigued but doing well emotionally.
At one point, about 750 of the center's nearly 1,300 detainees refused to eat. ICE says about 130 didn't eat Monday lunch.
Archdiocese says data breach may lead to fraud
SEATTLE (AP) - The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle says some employees and volunteers may be victims of national tax refund fraud because of a data breach.
The Seattle Times reported that the archdiocese posted a notice about the problem Monday on its website.
Archdiocese officials say they have told the FBI about the breach and have hired a forensic security firm to try to identify its source.
In a tax refund scheme, the IRS says identity thieves typically file fraudulent refund claims using a taxpayer's identifying information. That can mean delayed or diverted tax refunds.
The archdiocese says those who think they may have been affected should check with the IRS to see if returns have already been filed in their names.
BILKED BY LANDSCAPER
Landscaper who bilked women gets 3+ years
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A 35-year-old Pierce County man who took money from two elderly women for landscaping work he never completed has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. One of the women lost $50,000.
The News Tribune reports that Dayton Dixon of Spanaway earlier pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of theft. He was sentenced Monday.
A Pierce County deputy prosecutor says both women lived alone at the time of the thefts.
An 88-year-old Tacoma widow wrote to the court that the $50,000 she gave the man amounted to life savings that could have been used for her assisted living expenses.
Court records show a Puyallup woman in her 70's paid Dixon $8,500 down on a $17,000 contract for work he never did. He later paid back about $1,500 but she was out the $7,000. She told the court her husband had recently died and she had to hire someone to help with her yard.
FATHER'S FUNERAL-BIG GAME
Teen attends dad's funeral, then plays in big game
CHEHALIS, Wash. (AP) - A teen who says her father taught her how to play basketball attended his funeral and helped lead her Chehalis, Wash., high school team to a prep girls' basketball state championship - all in the same day.
KING-TV reports that the funeral for 58-year-old James Spencer was at 11 a.m. last Saturday in the southwest Washington town of Toledo. Tipoff for the state 2A girls' championship was at 5 p.m. that day in Yakima, about 150 miles away.
Julie Spencer feared she would have to miss the game, but Kenmore Air stepped in and flew the 17-year-old on a charter flight to Yakima after hearing about her dilemma.
KING says she scored 20 points in the state victory for W.F. West and was named tournament MVP.
She says she played probably the best game of her year and felt her father was watching her. And she adds, "I know he was praying for me."
Avalanche control damages Wash. ski area chairlift
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. (AP) - Crystal Mountain Ski Resort says an avalanche triggered by a ski patrol explosive has damaged part of a chairlift. No one was hurt.
KING-TV reports the resort was closed when the snow slide was set off late Monday afternoon.
The resort says on its Facebook page that the avalanche destroyed the bottom terminal and towers of the High Campbell lift.
The resort was closed Monday night and no spokesman was immediately reachable by phone.
Students use Bieber song, raise money for orphans
TENINO, Wash. (AP) - High school students in the small western Washington community of Tenino (Ten-NINE-o) are raising money for a cause - supporting orphans at a school in the west African country of Ghana.
One unconventional strategy: they're playing the Justin Bieber song "Baby" during breaks between classes and at lunch time until the campus raises $500.
KING-TV reports they raised more than $330 by Monday afternoon. They started Monday and some students were quickly pleading for an end. Said student Zack Chamberlain, "My head is about to explode right now."
Student government president Connor Stakelin concedes that "for some of them it's incentive to donate because they don't want to hear it anymore."
KING says the idea to support Crossover International Academy came from Tenino Elementary School Principal Dave Ford.
Tenino is about 60 miles south of Seattle.
VANCOUVER MALL BODY
Body found in restroom at Vancouver mall
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - A store employee found the body of a woman in a restroom at the Westfield Vancouver Mall.
The Clark County medical examiner's office identified the woman as 61-year-old Lyudmila Tikhomirova of Vancouver.
Police spokeswoman Kim Kapp says there's no sign of a crime.
Kapp told The Columbian the body had apparently been there overnight and emergency responders were called shortly after 6 a.m. Monday.
No additional information was released about the death.
MARIJUANA-DEALING TO STUDENTS
2.5 years for Seattle man who sold pot to students
SEATTLE (AP) - A Seattle man who admitted selling marijuana to a parade of teenagers who came to his house has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.
Alejandro Antonio Castillo pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in December. He sold marijuana and pot-laced brownies to students from Ballard High School, just a block from his home, and to middle school students as young as 13.
Seattle police reported that one morning last April, they watched 18 teens approach Castillo's house. Most appeared to come straight from Ballard High.
Seattle U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said that as Washington moves forward with regulated marijuana, it's critical to reinforce the message that sales to minors won't be tolerated. She also noted the 51-year-old had used guns to protect his drug business, posing a danger to the children.
Eide won't seek re-election in Senate
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Sen. Tracey Eide says she won't run for re-election this year, leaving a Senate seat up for grabs.
Eide, a Democrat from Federal Way, has represented the 30th District in the Senate for 16 years. She served two years in the House until losing a re-election bid in 1994. In 1998, she was elected the Senate.
Eide may be best remembered most for her successful efforts to keep drivers from texting and phoning on state roads. She won first a law making talking or texting while driving a crime and then one allowing police to pull drivers over solely for that offense.
The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Monday that no Democrats have yet announced they were running for the seat. Former Democratic Rep. Mark Miloscia, who switched parties last week, is running for the seat as a Republican.
A majority of 24 Republicans and two Democrats control the Senate.
Legislature OKs bill designating official oyster
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Senate has approved a measure designating the Olympia oyster as the official oyster of Washington state.
Senate Bill 6145 passed on a 48-1 vote Monday after the Senate concurred with some changes made in the House. The measure now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.
Olympia oysters are small, flat oysters that are found in low tide areas, mudflats and gravel bars in estuaries and bays.
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