House budget leaders in Olympia held a work session on a key factor in Washington’s education funding crisis Thursday morning. Dan Frizzell reports all people may be created equal, but the same can’t be said for all school district tax bases. House budget chair Ross Hunter, a Democratic representative from Medina, brought together lawmakers, stakeholders, […]Continue Reading ...
On Friday Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in conjunction with a broad coalition of organizations, filed a motion in the Washington State Supreme Court to address the impacts of the court’s recent decision on psychiatric boarding. The motion asks the court to delay the effect of its decision so that the state can implement Governor Jay […]Continue Reading ...
ELMA, Wash. – The State Supreme Court has unanimously thrown out an Elma woman’s conviction for controlled substances homicide due to a defect in the charging papers filed against her. Although someone forgot to tell Brenda Zillyette, she tells KBKW “I just heard it on the radio that the case was overturned, so I looked you up.”She’s already done serving 36 months of a 55 month sentence, Zillyette was charged with providing Xanax and methadone that caused the overdose death of 18-year-old Austin Burrows in 2009. However, prosecutors didn’t specify what drugs she was accused of providing.Now 4 years sober, she tells us “There will never be closure for me, that’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.” She said she remains active in recovery, “I’m able to go in and tell my story to people, and hope that they learn something from it.Because only certain drugs can support a charge of controlled substances homicide, the high court found that in effect, the charging papers didn’t necessarily accuse her of committing a crime. On Thursday the high court overturned the trial court that convicted her and the state appeals court panel that upheld the conviction, dismissing the charge against Zillyette.Continue Reading ...
OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s taken years in both cases, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Washington State Supreme Court have just handed phone customers a couple of victories.
The FCC has approved new rules to prevent “cramming,” the practice of phone companies adding bogus charges to monthly landline bills. And the state Supreme Court has ruled that Cingular, now known as AT&T Mobility, was illegally passing along a business tax to its customers from 2002 to 2006.
A lead attorney in that case, Dave Breskin of Seattle, says deciphering the charges on a typical phone bill takes more effort than customers should have to make.They make them look like they’re taxes – or, there’s no real connection between what’s stated on your bill and anything that makes sense to you. So, for most consumers, I think it’s a very difficult task to figure out when they’re being cheated. – attorney Dave Breskin
The Washington case began in 2006 with customers who questioned their cell phone bills. Breskin says the amounts billed extra are often so small that it’s easier to pay them than fight about it. However, they do not amount to small change to the companies involved.Continue Reading ...
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The state Supreme Court has ruled that defendants accused of possessing multiple images of child pornography can only be prosecuted for a single offense, not multiple counts based on the number of images or children involved.
The court decision Thursday upheld an appeals court ruling ordering a new sentencing in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for Randy Sutherby on a single count. He had originally been convicted of 10.
The Supreme Court says the proper unit for child pornography prosecution is one count per possession, rather than for each image or each child. The court separately reversed Sutherby's convictions for childContinue Reading ...
rape and child molestation, because his lawyer was ineffective. He had been accused of assaulting a 5-year-old girl in 2004. Investigators found pictures in his computer.
by Brian Zylstra Ten years after Washington voters adopted the Top 2 Primary system by initiative, it’s time for the 2014 edition. Check your mail over the next few days for your Primary ballot. Although it’s a mid-term election, there are races and propositions that are significant for your community, and we’re hoping for an […]Continue Reading ...
OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) – The State Supreme Court has unanimously thrown out an Elma woman’s conviction for controlled substances homicide due to a defect in the charging papers filed against her.
Brenda Zillyette was charged after investigators in Grays Harbor County discovered she had provided the Xanax and methadone that caused the overdose death of 18-year-old Austin Burrows in 2009. However, in charging papers prosecutors didn’t specify what category of controlled substances or what specific drugs she was accused of providing.
Because only certain drugs can support a charge of controlled substances homicide, the high court found that in effect, the charging papers didn’t necessarily accuse her of committing a crime. For that reason, on Thursday they overturned the trial court that convicted her and the state appeals court panel that upheld the conviction.
The justices dismissed the charge against Zillyette, who learned about it on the news.Continue Reading ...
OLYMPIA—The Washington Education Association (WEA) has agreed to return $225,000 to teachers after using their wages for the union’s political agenda without their authorization. This settlement ends a nine-year lawsuit that included an appeal the U.S. Supreme Court in which the high court ruled in favor of the teachers, Davenport v. WEA. The suit began when the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) filed a complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission. To date, the WEA has been ordered or agreed to pay over $1 million for violating teachers’ rights in this case.
Teachers in Washington are generally required to pay for union representation as a condition of employment. Teachers who decline to join the union must also pay union fees, but are given protections in state law to ensure protection of their First Amendment rights. Specifically, RCW 42.17.760 required unions to get permission from nonmembers before using their payments for political activity. (The legislature amended the law in 2007, significantly weakening its free speech protections for union-represented employees.)Continue Reading ...
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