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This Hour: Latest Washington news, sports, business and entertainment

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Number of missing in Washington mudslide drops

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - The number of people missing in the massive Washington state landslide has dropped to six.

The Snohomish County sheriff's office said Wednesday it has removed one name from the missing list. Earlier Wednesday, officials announced that the death toll had risen to 39.

The Snohomish County medical examiner's office said it was identifying the three bodies most recently discovered and notifying families. They could be among those listed as missing, but officials didn't say if one of them led to the list being whittled down.

Incident management team spokeswoman Koshare Eagle says one body was found Monday and two were found Tuesday in the southeast corner of the debris field where the Corps of Engineers erected a berm last week.


Unemployment rate steady, state adds 6,700 jobs

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state added an estimated 6,700 jobs in March and the unemployment rate is holding steady at 6.3 percent.

In numbers released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department, officials said that the rate matches February's jobless numbers, which had been revised down from an original estimate of 6.4 percent.

Officials said that during the one-year period ending in March, nearly 61,000 jobs have been added statewide, including more than 18,000 since the start of the year. The biggest job gains in March were seen in professional and business services, like office workers. Manufacturing also saw a boost, as did the retail sector, private education and health services and construction.

Job losses were seen in government, wholesale trade, financial activities, and other services.


School district told to pay $1.3M in stabbing case

SEATTLE (AP) - Jurors have told the Snohomish, Wash., School District to pay $1.3 million for failing to protect two high school girls stabbed in October 2011 by a mentally disturbed classmate.

King County Superior Court jurors in Seattle reached their verdict in a lawsuit brought by the families of April Lutz and Bekah Staudacher. They were freshmen at Snohomish High School when they were attacked in a school restroom.

Lutz was stabbed 13 times, including a knife blow that pierced her heart and left her in critical condition. The Daily Herald reports that Tuesday's verdict focused on the injuries suffered by Lutz and her family.

Bekah Staudacher was slashed in the arm and stabbed in the back trying to protect her friend. School officials said her part of the lawsuit was previously settled out of court.

School district spokeswoman Kristin Foley says, "The jury made its decision. Now we move forward."


Woman gets 10 years for trying to shoot husband

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Vancouver, Wash., woman who fetched a pistol and pointed it at her then-husband's head after they disagreed during a divorce discussion has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

The Columbian reports that 62-year-old Gayle Bethke pleaded guilty Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court to one count of second-degree attempted murder.

She apologized to her ex-husband, Roger Bethke, saying she was out of control during a drinking binge.

Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Nugent says the couple disagreed on the night of Sept. 21, 2012, while they were in bed discussing getting a divorce. Roger Bethke was able to wrestle the gun away.

Nugent says the woman then left the house and drove to Skamania County. She was arrested the next day after a pursuit and a five-hour standoff.


Wash. man charged with murder in aunt's death

SEATTLE (AP) - A suburban Bellevue man accused of killing the 72-year-old aunt he lived with has been charged with second-degree murder.

King County prosecutors said Wednesday in court documents that 53-year-old Mark Irwin was wearing blood-covered pants and had scratches on his arms Monday when Bellevue police found him in his aunt's car a few hours after her body was discovered.

Prosecutors say Barbara Irwin's body was found Sunday evening at her apartment.

Mark Irwin is held on $2 million bail.


Olympia port board continues small-city program

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A division of the Port of Olympia has reversed course and decided to leave in place a program that provides economic assistance to area communities.

In March, the Economic Development Corporation voted to end the small-city funding program.

The Olympian reports that the board on Monday rescinded that vote after being told by legal counsel that it couldn't end the program without funding it this year.

The program has been around since and provides $40,000 to four small communities, including Bucoda, Tenino, Rainier and Yelm.

The port has until the end of the year to assess the program and decide whether it should remain under the EDC.


Toddler falls from Seattle apartment window

SEATTLE (AP) - A 1-and-a-half-year-old girl was injured in a fall from the third-floor window of a Seattle apartment.

When fire department medics arrived about 10 a.m. Wednesday the girl was in her mother's arms, crying.

Lt. Sue Stangl says she was taken to Harborview Medical Center in serious condition with some missing teeth and abrasions.

Stangl told KOMO reports the girl hit a first-floor overhang before falling to the ground.

A window screen was seen on the ground near where she landed.


Boys shaken up in school bus crash near Marysville

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) - Two boys, 6 and 8, where checked at a hospital after their school bus rear-ended a semi-truck Wednesday morning at Marysville.

The Washington State Patrol says the 8-year-old bumped his head and the 6-year-old is a relative who went with him to the hospital.

The Daily Herald reports neither driver was hurt.

The school bus driver told troopers he was unable to stop in time.


Steven Powell wants state to pay for treatment

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Steven Powell wants the state of Washington to pay for court-ordered sex offender treatment he says was denied while serving time in prison for voyeurism.

Powell filed a motion in Pierce County Superior Court that will be heard on Friday.

The News Tribune reports a response to the motion filed by a state lawyer for the Department of Corrections says Powell did not qualify for treatment in prison under the way he was sentenced.

The 64-year-old Powell was released last month after serving a 30-month sentence for taking photographs of two young neighbor girls.

Powell is the father-in-law of Utah mother Susan Cox-Powell, who disappeared in 2009. His son, Josh Powell, was a suspect before he killed himself and his two children in an explosive house fire in 2012.


Highway 520 bridge toll going up 2.5 percent

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state Transportation Commission has approved a 2.5 percent increase in the tolls on the Highway 520 floating bridge.

The new rates approved Wednesday will take effect on July 1.

The commission says the new peak, weekday Good To Go! pass toll rate will be $3.80, and the new peak, weekday Pay By Mail toll rate will be $5.40.

The commission also says traffic and revenue are on track to provide $1.2 billion to help pay for the new floating bridge scheduled to open in July 2016.

The bridge crosses Lake Washington, connecting Seattle and Bellevue.


Salmon swim past Wanapum Dam

BEVERLY, Wash. (AP) - Modifications to the fish ladders at Wanapum Dam are allowing safe passage to upstream migrating adult salmon and steelhead.

A crack that was found February in Wanapum Dam resulted in a reservoir drawdown at the dam that had left the original fish ladders high and dry. But the fish ladders have been modified to allow passage.

The Grant County Public Utility District said Wednesday the most recent counts showed 31 spring chinook and 102 steelhead successfully exited the Wanapum Dam left bank fish ladder this week. They were the first of 15,000 spring chinook expected to make their way up the Columbia River to spawning grounds.

Three steelhead and eight whitefish have gone on to pass the Rock Island Dam fish ladders since counts began this week.

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