Chehalis Woman Runs For 13 Years, Returns to Face Parental Kidnapping Charges

CHEHALIS, Wash. – A former resident of Lewis County, Washington, KAREN KRISTINE SUDDERTH, 52, formerly of Chehalis, Washington, was taken into custody today at Sea-Tac Airport as she arrived on a flight from Thailand. There has been a warrant out for SUDDERTH’s arrest since January 22, 1997, for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. In July 1999, SUDDERTH was indicted by a federal grand jury for International Parental Kidnapping. According to court documents, the case began on August 30, 1996, when SUDDERTH failed to bring her son, who was then five-years-old, to a scheduled weekend visitation with his father. Mother and son fled the U.S. in September 1996, and remained out of the reach of law enforcement until today. The son turned 18 last week, prompting SUDDERTH to contact law enforcement and return to the United States.

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  • Spent Labor Day weekend home? You weren’t the only one

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – It could have been the rain, wind, economy or school calendar. Whatever the reason, the result was clear. There were fewer vehicles on the road in most places for Labor Day 2009.

    WSDOT collects and provides data on its Web site on routes that typically see an increase in travel over holiday weekends to help drivers have the information they need to know before they go on holiday trips.

    On I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass, WSDOT counted nearly 187,000 vehicles during the Labor Day weekend, a 9 percent decrease from Labor Day 2008.

    Most areas in Washington showed a similar decrease, with traffic on US 2 over Stevens Pass even lower, with 29,900 vehicles on US 2 over Stevens Pass from Friday through Monday. That’s down 6,500 vehicles (or 22 percent) from 2008.

    Traffic on I-5 near the U.S./Canadian border showed a small increase from 2008. WSDOT counted 129,700 vehicles on this stretch of highway from Friday through Monday, an increase of 3,400 vehicles (or 3 percent) from Labor Day weekend 2008.

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  • WSP Seeks Witnesses to Collision Involving Deputy

    LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. – The Washington State Patrol Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is seeking additional witnesses to the tragic collision that claimed the life of Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Gallagher. The collision occurred August 17, 2009 at about 8:25 p.m. on State Route 12 on the west side of Packwood where his patrol car collided with an elk.

    Detectives are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen the collision or any of the events leading up to the crash. If you know someone who may have seen the collision, please call the numbers below and give us their information so we can contact them.

    If you have any information, you are asked to call Detective Sergeant Jerry Cooper at (360) 805-1192 or Detective Curt Ladines at (360) 805-1160.

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  • Westport to Receive Ecology Funds to Prevent Flood Damage

    WESTPORT, Wash. – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is providing nearly $1.4 million to help 12 Washington communities fund projects to prevent future damages from floods.

    During the 2009 legislative session, state lawmakers created a special account to help local towns, cities and counties fund targeted flood damage prevention activities.

    The Legislature directed Ecology to give priority to communities least able to fund flood mitigation projects and those projects most ready to proceed.

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  • WSDOT highlights work zone safety with memorial and techniques being developed to increase safety

    OLYMPIA – On April 23, WSDOT will recognize the more than 5,000 WSDOT workers and the thousands of city, county and contractor crews working to improve Washington's roadways, and the risks they face every day.

    Just days later, WSDOT will launch the second activation of its newest work zone safety device, the Automated Traffic Safety Camera.

    "Speed continues to be the leading cause of work zone collisions. So we are asking drivers to slow down and pay attention when driving through work zones," said WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond. "The men and women who work on our state and local highways are often working in and near traffic, and we want everyone to go home to their loved ones at the end of their work day."

    The Work Zone Memorial is an annual ceremony to recognize roadway workers and honor those who have lost their lives in work zones. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at the WSDOT Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE in Olympia. The public and media are invited to attend.

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