Recount on SeaTac $15 minimum wage proposition
SEATTLE (AP) - The King County elections office is conducting a recount Monday on the proposition in the city of SeaTac to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
It passed by 77 votes in last month's election, with 6,003 votes counted.
The recount was requested by Common Sense SeaTac, a business group that opposed the proposition. It also faces a court challenge, led by Alaska Air Group. It questions whether it has authority at the airport, which is operated by the Port of Seattle.
The SeaTac minimum wage campaign drew $1.8 million in spending in the small city, with national labor groups supporting higher pay and national business groups opposing.
Washington has the nation's highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
WA health exchange up and then back down again
SEATTLE (AP) - The website for Washington's health insurance exchange is back down again with new technical issues after problems last week took the website down for four days.
Spokeswoman Bethany Frey says problems at the Washington Department of Social and Health Services forced wahealthplanfinder.org to shut down Monday morning. DSHS is having problems with its own system that helps determine whether people are eligible for free or reduced cost insurance.
Without the DSHS site, the health insurance site can't process applications.
The health benefit exchange site came back online Saturday morning after four days of maintenance for other technical problems. Frey says it was working fine over the weekend.
Washington residents have until Dec. 23 to sign up and pay for health insurance through the exchange if they want to be insured on Jan. 1.
Teen who died on flight was traveling with family
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Spokane Fire Department says the 16-year-old boy who died on a Delta Air Lines flight had a medical condition and was with members of his military family traveling from Seattle to Atlanta.
Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer told The Spokesman-Review the family members were traveling Saturday because the boy's father is being transferred from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The boy had been cleared for the flight but suffered a medical emergency. His heart and breathing stopped. The crew performed CPR but couldn't revive him.
The plane diverted to Spokane International Airport, where medics continued CPR without success. The Spokane County medical examiner's office is conducting an autopsy.
Delta Air Lines Flight 128 had 258 passengers on board. Delta spokesman Michael Thomas says passengers later returned to the plane to complete their trip.
FROZE TO DEATH
Woman, 88, froze to death outside retirement home
LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) - The Cowlitz County coroner's office says an 88-year-old Longview woman froze to death outside her retirement home last week.
Chief Deputy Coroner Brett Dundas said Monday that an autopsy showed the woman died of hypothermia. He says the manner of death was declared an accident.
The Daily News reports Norma Jeannette Sheldon was found by staff at 1:18 a.m. Friday outside the facility.
Dundas says there was no sign Sheldon had fallen, struck her head or was otherwise physically unable to return inside. She died late Thursday night or Friday morning.
The temperature at the time Sheldon was discovered was 28 degrees with 59 percent humidity.
Cold snap transition forecast in Washington
SEATTLE (AP) - Forecasters say the cold snap that started December in Washington should give way this week to more-normal cloudy-rainy weather with a chance of light snow in places during the transition.
The National Weather Service says the change begins Monday in Western Washington with warmer, moist air riding over the cold air mass. That could result in snow, but accumulations should be less than an inch. Freezing drizzle is possible Tuesday before turning to light rain. High temperatures should rise into the 40s with lows in the 30s.
Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing in Eastern Washington this week with a chance of snow or light freezing rain.
Some low temperatures early Monday: 24 at Sea-Tac Airport, 17 in Olympia, 7 in Spokane, 3 in Yakima and zero at Pullman.
YAKIMA HOMICIDE FIRE
Woman found in Yakima house fire was killed
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - Police say a woman who was found dead in a Yakima house fire appears to be a homicide victim.
Cpt. Rod Light told the Yakima Herald-Republic the 62-year-old woman was not killed by the fire.
Firefighters found the body Saturday as they put out the fire, which apparently was set.
Man shot in Ryderwood, roommate arrested
KELSO, Wash. (AP) - The Cowlitz County sheriff's office says a 69-year-old man was wounded in a shooting early Monday in Ryderwood.
The man and the 43-year-old woman suspected of shooting him both called 911 about 4:30 a.m.
The man said his roommate shot him and the woman said she had just shot someone.
The man was able to drive to meet an aid crew. He was airlifted to a hospital in Tacoma for surgery on a gunshot wound in the abdomen.
The sheriff's office says the woman remained on the line and continued to shoot a rifle randomly until deputies arrived.
The dispatcher talked her out of the house, and she was arrested.
Anti-panhandling campaign in Arlington, Marysville
ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) - Authorities and businesses in Arlington and Marysville have joined the "Keep The Change" campaign to discourage panhandling.
Signs and stickers have been posted in the Snohomish County cities urging people to give to local charities instead of panhandlers.
Arlington Police Chief Nelson Beazley told The Daily Herald he sees a link between panhandling and heroin use.
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring also says some panhandlers are using handouts to buy drugs and alcohol. He says panhandling also creates traffic and safety problems.
BORING SEATTLE TUNNEL
Seattle tunnel boring machine reportedly stuck
SEATTLE (AP) - The machine boring a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle has reportedly been stopped since Friday.
Transportation Department spokeswoman KaDeena Yerkan told KING the machine called Bertha hit some kind of obstruction. It's about 60 feet deep, between South Jackson Street and South Main Street.
The department said last week the machine had traveled about 1,000 feet or about one-tenth of its two-mile route since tunneling started last summer near the waterfront and sports stadiums.
The 326-foot-long machine - the biggest in the world - is creating a tunnel nearly 58 feet in diameter as part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct to carry Highway 99 traffic.
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