Rain signals flash floods for wildfires
A potential second disaster loomed over Central Washington in the form of rain clouds that threaten flash floods for the wildfire-stricken area. By late afternoon, at least one mudslide had been reported along the Entiat River Road, according to the Wenatchee World.
The weather service extended its warning of possible flash floods until 11 p.m. tonight, even as 2,100 firefighters continue to battle the largest wildfire in Washington history, the Carlton Complex.
The flood watch was prompted as forecasts predicted thunderstorms spreading across Central Washington and causing moderate to heavy rainfall over the eastern slopes of the Northern Cascades. The weather services noted that in as little as 10 minutes, heavy rain on a slope can cause a flash flood because a fire has burned away the slope’s vegetation. Concern has also been raised over the storms sparking lightning-caused fires. Amid the storm forecasts, President Obama signed an emergency declaration Wednesday authorizing federal services for disaster relief and help in providing resources for local and state agencies. — J.B.
Puget Sound skyscrapers for sale
Chicago-based Walton Street Capital is selling nine major office buildings in the Puget Sound region, according to a Puget Sound Business Journal report. The state of the region’s commercial property values and the Walton Street buildings for sale have a lot of common ground — both are high-risers. Among the property’s for sale are 1111 Third Ave. in Seattle, One Bellevue Center and Symetra Financial Center in Bellevue. — E.W.
Tacoma’s own “Incredible Journey,” with a twist
A little white dog, found on a Tacoma road recently, is back with a family more than 2,000 miles away, thanks to a microchip. The Texas family reunited with their Maltese, named Reese, over the weekend — seven years after he went missing.
The dog's Tacoma family, however, is missing him. Kelli Davis of Washington state told KHOU that her family adopted the dog from a Texas shelter six years ago, which had recorded him as voluntarily abandoned. The family moved from Texas to this state, and the dog recently escaped Davis’ home in Tacoma after her 2-year-old daughter unlatched the front door. The dog’s original owners have legal ownership because of the microchip registration, KHOU reported, and they say they aren’t going to loosen Reese's leash. — E.W.
Doctor's assets targeted
A federal agency wants to seize some of a Bellevue doctor’s assets over his alleged role in prostituting women smuggled into the United States by a sex-trafficking group, seattlepi.com reported.
According to court papers, the investigation into the doctor began in November 2012 after the Drug Enforcement Administration learned he was depositing large amounts of money into bank accounts in Bellevue. The DEA might have been called in on the assumption that the physician was profiting from prescription drugs, the news site speculates. But the agency then found the doctor was apparently placing sex-service ads online and renting out apartments for prostitutes. Through a series of sting operations, the DEA discovered that at least six women, who had advertised online, were connected to the doctor and the agents concluded that the doctor’s girlfriend, allegedly a prostitute herself, was managing a prostitution ring of at least 10 women.
Unsealed court documents suggest the doctor has laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through his accounts, wiring some of that money to Thai bank accounts. Authorities believe the women had been smuggled into the U.S. and were attempting to repay the debts they incurred from sex-trafficking organizations. The doctor has not been charged with any crime, but federal prosecutors seized $91,000 from his accounts in February. The prosecutors want the money to be declared the government’s property under the theory that the doctor gained it as a result of illegal activity. Seattlepi reports that the doctor's attorney has not yet responded to the government's claims. — J.B.
Love the Daily Troll? Now you can sign up to get it in your inbox every afternoon. And to catch up on the most recent news, click here.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!