Small school's donor revealed
BIG LAKE, Skagit County — For years an anonymous donor paid for microscopes and calculators, teacher's chairs and dictionaries — all kinds of things a small elementary school's budget doesn't always stretch to cover.
No one knew the Big Lake Elementary School donor's identity until recently, when former CIA Director Robert Gates stepped forward.
Gates headed the CIA from 1991 to 1993 before retiring with his wife, Becky, to Big Lake, five miles southeast of Mount Vernon.
The father of two grown children has challenged his adopted community, setting aside $20,000 in matching funds to help pay for a play area. That has put the Big Lake Parents Club well on its way toward a $50,000 fund-raising goal.
Slaying suspect ordered to take psychotropic drugs
SEATTLE — Leemah Carneh, charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of a Des Moines couple, their grandson and his girlfriend last March, will be forced to take prescribed psychotropic medication that will help restore his mental competency, a King County Superior Court judge ruled yesterday.
Carneh is to be sent to Western State Hospital for a 90-day evaluation. In January, a judge will rule again on whether Carneh is capable of assisting in his defense.
Yesterday, Judge Dale Ramerman found Carneh incapable of standing trial and ordered the mental-health evaluation.
Strapped NW Folklife cuts staff from 12 to nine
SEATTLE — The Northwest Folklife Festival has cut its staff from 12 to nine in layoffs effective today.
Money problems have plagued the 30-year-old music and cultural festival since 1998. Executive Director Michael Herschensohn said that the festival will continue next year and that there are no plans to charge admission.
Rape-murder victim's kin fault monitoring of offender
TACOMA — The state is being sued by relatives of a rape-murder victim who say the sex offender charged with killing the mother of three had not been properly monitored.
The case, filed in Pierce County Superior Court, stems from the killing of Deborah Funk, 40, at her apartment in Federal Way on April 15, 2000.
King County prosecutors charged Roy Webbe, now 33, a transient, with aggravated first-degree murder in December. He has been found mentally unable to stand trial.
Funk's family previously filed a $15 million claim.
Webbe was convicted of rape in 1991, and seven years later, while on community supervision, he was convicted of trying to stab a man who intervened when he leered at two teens on a bus.
Ex-motor-vehicles worker charged over forged licenses
ROSEBURG, Ore. — A former state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employee has been charged with 176 counts of selling forged driver's licenses.
Veronica Perez, 41, of Salem was being held in lieu of $1 million bail on charges including taking bribes, identity theft, forgery and official misconduct.
Perez allegedly used her position at the DMV to issue regular driver's licenses, commercial driver's licenses and state ID cards based on falsified or fictitious information and altered test results.
Auburn council meeting violated law, auditor says
AUBURN — The City Council violated state open-meetings laws by voting behind closed doors on the purchase of a downtown building, the state auditor says.
City leaders bought the building housing the Rail Tavern, across from City Hall, for $122,409 in December 1999. City officials have wanted to replace the tavern and three nearby bars with more-upscale businesses.
On legal advice, municipal officials did not disclose that the city was the buyer. There was no public vote on the transaction, nor was it announced.
Council members said the seller would have raised the price if he knew the buyer was the city. City Attorney Mike Reynolds said disclosure requirements were satisfied with a public vote on the city budget, including funds for downtown revitalization.
Information is from Seattle Times staff and news services.