FBI seeks information on bank robber nicknamed the ‘Quick-Change Bandit’

The Seattle Safe Streets Task Force is seeking information about a bank robber nicknamed the “Quick-Change Bandit.”

The unidentified bank robber is believed to have

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Amazon announces plans to open its fourth fulfillment center in Kent, Washington

Seattle, March 14, 2014 – Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to open a nearly 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Kent

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Aberdeen to hire consultant Cary Bozeman for downtown development

Aberdeen has a new consultant to invigorate development of the downtown core. Mayor Bill Simpson said this morning that we might see some changes coming with consultant Cary Bozeman at the

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Harbor Manor in Hoquiam among statewide housing purchase

TUKWILLA, Wash. - When a portfolio of nine privately owned Section 8-assisted housing complexes located in five counties scattered across Washington state was offered for sale last spring, the King County Housing Authority spearheaded a collaborative effort to purchase it. The housing authorities of Bremerton, Grays Harbor County, Yakima, and Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee participated in assuring the preservation of a total of 337 homes within the various communities.

“If they lost their housing because it got too expensive, they couldn’t take a second job to pencil it out. Now they can sleep at night in a safe, stable place to live, which is what anybody would want for their mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.”

The unusual collective strategy – which represents the most wide-ranging state initiative to date to preserve existing subsidized housing – was necessary because the seller wanted to dispose of the portfolio as a single sale. Failure to acquire even one of the nine properties would have resulted in failure to preserve any of the properties. The current owner, who was also the initial developer and long-term owner of the properties, worked with the housing authority to try to assure long-term preservation of these apartments as affordable housing.

“Preserving existing subsidized housing is the most cost-effective way to maintain the supply of affordable rental apartments,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority. “Working with the state Department of Commerce, King County government and housing authorities across the state, we have been able to protect 337 low-income households, the vast majority of them senior citizens, from being forced from their homes – and at the same time, have preserved for the long-term, crucial local housing resources.”

Western Washington braces for winter driving conditions

OLYMPIA – Whether it’s heading home from work or heading to watch the Seahawks attempt to keep their home game winning streak intact, Puget Sound area drivers are urged prepare for possible snow and ice to during the Monday afternoon drive.

The current lowland forecast calls for freezing temperatures and possible snow between Everett and Canada by early Monday morning, and arriving in the Seattle area by Monday afternoon.

"WSDOT maintenance crews will be out in force as this storm system moves in," said Dave McCormick, WSDOT assistant regional administrator for maintenance and operations. "We will have 40 trucks in the Greater Puget Sound area working to keep the roads clear. But we need drivers to prepare themselves and their cars for winter driving conditions."

WSDOT, WSP and transit agencies are working together to keep traffic moving as more than 65,000 fans are expected for a nationally televised game at CenturyLink field in Seattle. - Dave McCormick, WSDOT assistant regional administrator



Three more Haagan stores closing, Aberdeen Top Food & Drug not among them

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The Haggen grocery chain is closing three more stores in Washington, but the Aberdeen location will remain open. The Bellingham company announced this week that they are closing" TOP Food & Drug" stores in Kent, Auburn and Yakima.
Earlier this year Haggen announced plans to close stores in Tacoma, Lacey, Federal Way, Bellevue and Shoreline. The company says the closures are part of a long-term plan to improve competitiveness. They currently operate more than 20 stores in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Northwest Fresh and TOP Food & Drug names.

Washington Voters’ Pamphlets mailed out this week

Ready to vote in this fall’s General Election? Make sure to first read the always-helpful Voters’ Pamphlet that is arriving in your mailbox this week.

If you don’t receive your Voters’ Pamphlet by Oct. 22, please call the Voter Hotline at (800) 448-4881 for assistance.

Brian Zylstra, Deputy Communications Director with the Office of Secretary of State tells us "the Voters’ Pamphlet, provided by our Elections Division, is packed with useful information about state candidates and measures found on this fall’s ballot. It includes info on the two statewide initiatives on the ballot: Initiative 517, the “Initiative on Initiatives” that grants more time and protection for signature-gatherers, and I-522, which addresses labeling for genetically engineered foods. In addition, the Voters’ Pamphlet provides info on the five nonbinding Advisory Votes on revenue-related bills passed by the state Legislature this year.

Unlike the 2012 General Election, this year’s fall election doesn’t have high-profile races like President or Governor. Instead, this election is dominated by local races for city council, mayor, county commission, school board, port district, fire district and other positions. Some counties include their local candidates and measures in the state pamphlet, and a handful of counties publish their own Voters’ Pamphlet.

Grays Harbor College named one of Washington’s 27 most military friendly

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the heels of its ranking as top community college in Washington state last month, Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen has again made a national list.
Twenty-seven Washington community and technical colleges are among the top military friendly schools in the nation according to Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel that are transitioning to civilian life.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools list released this week honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that do the most to ensure the success of military service members, veterans, and spouses. Grays Harbor College offers many programs and support staff to help local military students be successful.

Victory Media compiled the list through research and data-driven analysis of surveys from more than 10,000 federal Department of Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide, along with a survey of more than 4,000 student veterans. The results were independently audited by national accounting firm Ernst & Young. Washington’s community and technical colleges were among 1,818 schools nationwide to make the list.

Washington Vying For New National Monument

Anacortes, WA - The San Juan County Council is asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to champion the idea of making about 1,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land on Washington's scenic San Juan Islands into a new national monument. If that happens, it would be the culmination of three years of work by local volunteer groups, who already help the BLM maintain the property.

Jamie Stephens, a member of the San Juan County Council, says it isn't a single parcel of land, and includes some popular hiking trails, wildlife habitat and three historic lighthouses.

Some of the reefs and rocks just provide valuable habitat. But, for instance, Lopez Island and the lighthouses, those are also important recreational areas. We're a tourism economy, so it's important to be able to keep them maintained and conserved. - Jamie Stephens

Time to Check for Unclaimed Property

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It’s time to check the Department of Revenue’s unclaimed property database again even if you didn’t find anything last time.

“No fooling. Your odds of finding unclaimed cash are better than ever,” Department Director Suzan DelBene said.

That’s because the Department has added 623,000 names and $91.5 million to its huge online database at www.claimyourcash.org after businesses reported new unclaimed property late last year.

While the Department was able to pay $44.5 million to more than 98,000 claimants during Fiscal Year 2010, the database has grown to about 3 million names and $830 million.

The Department mails claim forms to the last-known addresses of potential claimants, but much of the unclaimed paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, refunds, stocks and bonds, and contents from safe deposit boxes, among other lost property still goes unclaimed.