Rain and relief in Central Washington
To the relief of firefighters in north central Washington, “heavy” rain fell on Thursday morning, helping to dampen wildfires that have been raging out of control. The flip side of this dramatic downpour? According to Associated Press, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Chelan and Douglas counties, including the town of Eniat. Wenatchee’s Pangborn Airport received 0.9 inches of rain in one wet and wild 28-minutes just before 3 a.m. Washington sure knows how to do extremes. — K.H.
BAM keeps its director
The Bellevue Arts Museum has named Linda Pawson as its Executive Director. In a press release, Museum officials liked the record attendance the museum enjoyed under Pawson’s leadership as interim Executive Director this past year. Her experience includes 10 years at Microsoft and varied leadership roles at the Pratt Fine Arts Center. We're guessing the museum's board is relieved to have the leadership position settled. – K.H.
Metro plans low-income fare
King County Executive Dow Constantine said today that Public Health-Seattle & King County will play a key role in verifying eligibility of people for a new low-income discount bus fare. When the $1.50 rate launches on March 1, 2015 King County's transit system will become just the second nationally to offer reduced fares to the needy. At that time, regular fares will range from $2.50 to $3.25, depending on distance and time of day. A task force recently warned that verifying eligibility will be one of the biggest challenges. As many as 100,000 people could qualify for the lower fares. Constantine pointed to Public Health's role in working with other community groups to help more than 165,000 people enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. — J.C.
Private pepper spraying scrutinized
Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the public safety committee, tells Publicola that he will look closely at policies regulating private security guards in the wake of a weekend incident where a guard apparently pepper-sprayed the wrong person during a protest. The pepper-spray victim, 26-year-old Raymond Wilford, was walking past a demonstration where a man without a shirt was reportedly yelling at opponents of Israel's use of force in Gaza. Wilford tried to avoid the shirtless, vulgarity-shouting man, but was unsuccessful. (Thankfully, no punches were thrown).
When Seattle Police arrived they quickly released Wilford, but officers are still investigating the pepper-spraying, along with a report that one other woman may have been squirted. NW Cable News has an interview with the pepper-spraying vic. — J.C.
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