Nearly 100 homes destroyed in wildfires
Gov. Jay Inslee headed to Central Washington today after hundreds of residents fled Brewster and Pateros as the Carlton Complex wildfires ripped through the Central Washington towns, burning an estimated 95 homes overnight. “Now it’s like the fire is chasing us,” Pateros resident Ryan Greene told the Wenatchee World. A section of Highway 97 is closed today as 600 firefighters battle the flames that span 168,713 acres. A large swath of Okanogan County is without electricity after the fire burned through power lines, according to the News Tribune. Updated 6:15 AM 7/19.Highway 97 has reopened.The town of Brewster emptied out Friday night.
A Facebook group formed to provide information about help for fire victims in Chelan already has 1,429 members offering food, clothes and shelter. The Red Cross is collecting donations.
Updated 6:15 AM 7/19. Meanwhile, south of the Carlton Complex fire, the Mills Canyon Complex continues to rage, with Antoine Creek, Swakane Canyon and Washington Creek under level 2 evacuation. And near Leavenworth, U.S. 2 remains closed as crews fight another fire.
Before a flight to Wenatchee, the governor said some 2,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, according to Associated Press. — M.L.
Pateros Mayor Libby Harrison & daughter Avery. Family home total loss in fire.Remembers Oso:"Stay strong." pic.twitter.com/TWCUwQNpd9— Erik Lacitis (@ErikLacitis) July 18, 2014
Seattle Public Schools has new super
Updated at 4:35 p.m. The Seattle School Board this afternoon picked an interim superintendent, a retired Marysville Schools Superintendent, to run the system in the wake of Sacramento's hiring away of José Banda. Larry Nyland was credited with making big changes over nine years at the Marysville district north of Seattle. Seattle School Board President Sharon Peaslee said he will bring “an infusion of energy and brilliance.” Nyland (below) said that in the year since his retirement, he has consulted almost full time.
School Board member Stephan Blanford said he had been impressed by Nyland's work to transform both the Marysville district and the School Board and his commitment to educating all children. The graduation rate in Marysville, which has a substantial Native American student population, grew from about 50 percent to more than 70 percent during the nine years before Nyland's 2013 retirement, according to a story in The Herald last year. In remarks after the meeting, Peaslee said the board had heard repeatedly that Nyland was one of the most outstanding superintendents people in education had met. Nyland graduated from Seattle's Roosevelt High School and has three University of Washington degrees.
Alibaba targeting Seattle for possible U.S. site
Alibaba, the Chinese retail behemoth, is eyeing the Seattle region for a new outpost, Geekwire reports. Alibaba dwarfs Amazon and E-bay — combined — and is expected to be the largest tech company in the world once it goes public in the U.S. Although Alibaba hasn’t made any official announcements, it has listed job openings for engineers in the Entrepreneurs & Experts in Seattle group, saying that employees could be based in the Seattle region or in China. (Embattled Microsoft workers, take note.) It’s unclear whether the new outpost would be located on the Eastside or in Seattle. — M.L.
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