FBI: Arrest made in Wash. ricin letter scare
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A 37-year-old man arrested Wednesday has pleaded not guilty to mailing a threatening communication, after a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin were discovered in Washington state last week.
Matthew Ryan Buquet appeared in federal court in Spokane after FBI agents arrested him Wednesday afternoon.
The letters were postmarked in Spokane and addressed to the downtown post office and the adjacent federal building. They were intercepted by the Postal Service, and no one was injured.
The Postal Service has said the ricin was in a crude form that did not pose a health risk to its employees.
Investigators in hazardous materials suits spent most of Saturday executing a search warrant at a three-story apartment building downtown. Witnesses reported that agents escorted a man from the building.
MISSING MOM-UTAH-STEVE POWELL
Steve Powell won't leave prison Thursday
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Corrections Department says the father-in-law of missing Utah mother Susan Powell won't be released from prison Thursday.
He's been serving time for recording images of 2 neighbor girls in their bathroom.
Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said May 23 was the earliest possible date on which Steve Powell could be released, based on sentence reductions he earned in prison. Powell was sentenced in June 2012 to 2½ years.
To get out early, inmates must submit an acceptable release plan. Lewis says the state is still reviewing Powell's proposed plan. If it's approved, the state still requires 35 days to allow staff to notify victims and local law enforcement.
Police in Utah said this week they were closing the active part of the Susan Powell investigation. She disappeared from her home in 2009.
Her husband Josh was a focus of the investigation until he killed himself and the couple's two children last year in an explosive house fire in Washington state.
RENTON PARK SHOOTING
Teen girl wounded in Renton, Wash. shooting
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - A teenage girl caught in gunfire at a Renton, Wash., park reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the torso Wednesday night.
KOMO-TV reports that police responded to Liberty Park after getting calls about a gun battle between the park's tennis courts and a skateboard park.
Medics took the girl to a hospital. Her condition was not known.
KOMO says witnesses report that the shooting started with an argument involving several men.
Pizza restaurant offers pizza for crimesolving
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A pizza restaurant in Spokane, Wash., is offering 200 free pies for help in tracking down a robber who hit a store on Wednesday evening.
KXLY-TV says a Pizza Rita owner made that offer after a robber made off with an unknown amount of cash and tips from an outlet on North Wall Street.
Spokane police are also looking for the suspect, described as wearing a dark flannel hoodie, jeans, a baseball cap and red sunglasses.
2 insurers proposed to not cover Wash. abortions
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Two insurance companies who filed to compete in Washington state's health care exchange initially proposed not to provide abortion coverage.
Stephanie Marquis with the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner said Wednesday that the plans were filed by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of The Northwest and BridgeSpan Health Company. Those filings set off frustration among advocates who have been pressing for a new state law to secure abortion coverage for all Washington health plans.
A spokesman for Kaiser said it mistakenly omitted abortion coverage in its filings and is moving to correct the error.
A spokeswoman for BridgeSpan said the company has been making changes to its plans and intends to include coverage for abortion services.
NORTHWEST COAL PORTS
Groups ask big picture look at coal ports
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Environmental groups and a public health organization want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider the big picture - from mining in Wyoming to air pollution in China - before allowing development of facilities to ship coal to Asia at three Northwest ports.
The groups filed a formal petition Wednesday asking the corps to consider all three ports together - two in Washington and one in Oregon - as well as the impacts of mining, massive coal trains, and global warming.
Corps of Engineers spokesman Scott Clemans says the agency has been looking at the ports individually, and considering local impacts such as dredging, building docks and changes to wetlands.
To do something broader, he says, the Corps would have to decide the current analyses are inadequate.
Wilson, Angels beat Mariners 7-1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - C.J. Wilson struck out 10 in eight innings, Josh Hamilton had a two-run single and the Los Angeles Angels beat Seattle 7-1 on Wednesday to hand the Mariners their season-worst sixth straight loss.
Wilson (4-3) allowed a run and six hits in his longest outing since June 8, 2012, when he also went eight innings in a 7-2 interleague victory at Colorado. The left-hander won for the first time since May 1 at Oakland after losing his previous three starts, including back-to-back 3-0 decisions against Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.
Brandon Maurer (2-6) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in three innings for Seattle.
New look Storm still hopes to be competitive
SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Storm got used to star center Lauren Jackson being absent because of injuries and commitments with the Australian national team.
Now, they'll have to adjust to playing without Jackson and floor leader Sue Bird.
The Storm enter the season with neither star available as both recover from major surgeries. Jackson is rehabbing her hamstring, and Bird had knee surgery.
The two stalwarts who led the team to two WNBA championships during their careers will miss the entire summer season.
That means veterans Tanisha Wright, Camille Little and Tina Thompson will have to step up. It also opens spots for younger players, including Seattle's first-round pick Tianna Hawkins of Maryland and second-year player Shekinna Stricklen.
The Storm open on the road Sunday at Los Angeles against the Sparks and star Candace Parker.
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