Hope still alive for mudslide survivors
Snohomish County Emergency Management director John Pennington told USA Today that he still has hopes of finding survivors of last Saturday's mudslide near Oso. "I've said it before — I believe in miracles," Pennington told the paper. "I believe that people can survive these events." The death toll remains at 14; 176 people remain unaccounted for. Pennington also noted that a 1.1 magnitude earthquake had been recorded 100 yards behind the mudslide area on March 10, but scientists doubt that the small quake had anything to do with the slide. The slide, which spans a square mile, consumed nearly 50 homes. Rainy weather in the days ahead will hamper search efforts by making the terrain more unstable and treacherous. — H.W.
Study finds pay hike good for local workers
A report by University of Washington researchers finds that nearly one in four Seattle workers would benefit from a minimum wage increase. According to The Seattle Times, the report from the UW's Evans School of Public Affairs estimates that a $15 wage would match or exceed the current hourly pay of about 102,000 local workers, or 24 percent of Seattle's workforce. This number could approach one-third of Seattle’s workers if those who already make $15 to $18 an hour get a bump too. The Evans School report, which also details the demographics of those most likely to be affected by a minimum wage hike, will be presented Wednesday at a meeting of Mayor Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. — M.C.
PopCap's Vechey on life after acquisition
Since being acquired by game goliath Electronic Arts three years ago, Seattle game company PopCap — of Bejeweled fame — has laid off staffers, cancelled games, closed studios and said farewell to former executives. But John Vechey, PopCap cofounder and honcho in charge (since January), tells Geekwire: “We made the right decision. EA has a reputation for acquiring companies and ruining them, and it’s different being a part of a big company, and there’s things that suck about being a part of a big company, and there’s things that suck about being independent — and that’s life.” True enough, John. PopCap could have gone public or picked a different acquisitor – Zynga was allegedly sniffing around. But that’s ancient history. Besides, according to Vechey, PopCap’s rocky “transition to freemium” has been “in our hands.” EA, he continued, has been supportive. “Our success or failure is on us.” — M.B.
NFL spikes the dunk
In an attempt to drain all personality and bombast from the league, the NFL has banned the goalpost dunk. Starting with the 2014 season, players who dare to dunk will be hit with a 15-yard penalty, according to the Washington Post. Some sports fans and commentators trace the ban back to New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. The hang time on his touchdown dunk last November in a game against Atlanta bent the Georgia Dome goal post — and delayed the game. (Watch the video below.)
The no-dunk ruling from NFL’s head of officiating Dean Blandino joins a long list of no-no celebrations that can earn a flag for “unsportsmanlike conduct." The list already bans dancing, spinning or doing almost anything with or to the football besides running with it. Will post-touchdown cheering with teammates be next? — M.C.
Girls Scout cookie monster
Meet Katie Francis, the new Girl Scout cookie selling champ. The sixth grader from Oklahoma City set a new national record by selling 18,107 boxes of those classic Thin Mints and DoSiDos — in just seven weeks! The previous record — a piddling 18,000 boxes sold by (former) “cookie queen” and Falls Church, Virginia scout Elizabeth Brinton — was set way back in the 1980s. And more good news for Katie, and the Girls Scout financial team, Oklahoma’s bitter winter prompted Katie’s troop to extend its cookie sales period through the end of this month, which puts Katie’s new goal of 20,000 boxes well within her grasp. Btw: Katie’s troop plans to donate a portion of her proceeds to a breast cancer research charity.
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