Kent boy gets on the map
WASHINGTON — Erik Miller, 14, an eighth-grade home-schooler from Kent, took third place yesterday in the 14th National Geographic Bee.
Another home-schooler, 10-year-old Calvin McCarter of Jenison, Mich., the youngest competitor, won the contest.
His victory came after a questionable call and an instant replay that upheld the initial ruling from host Alex Trebek that Miller was late in identifying Indonesia as the home of popular shadow-puppet shows.
McCarter won a $25,000 college scholarship; Miller a $10,000 scholarship. A $15,000 scholarship went to second-place winner, Matthew Russell, 14, of Bradford, Pa.
Last year, Bellevue's Kyle Haddad-Fonda, a student at The Evergreen School, won the event.
New murder charge filed in B.C. disappearances
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Police filed a seventh charge of first-degree murder yesterday against a man being investigated in the disappearances of 50 women from Vancouver's drug-infested downtown east side.
Robert Pickton, 52, a pig farmer from Port Coquitlam, has now been charged in the death of Brenda Wolfe, 32, who was last seen in February 1999 but wasn't reported missing until 14 months later.
U.S. House closer to pipeline-safety bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House Transportation Committee yesterday approved, 55-13, a bill to strengthen oversight of the nation's underground gas and oil pipelines.
The bill is a compromise between what some reformers had sought and what the pipeline industry preferred, and lawmakers will continue negotiating before a vote on the House floor. The House Energy and Commerce Committee also is working on a version, which aides said may be tougher. Once the House agrees on a final proposal, it will have to work out differences between its bill and a bill the Senate passed unanimously.
The House bill approved yesterday would give communities the right to information about where pipelines run and would order inspections within 10 years.
Kent police looking for trucker last seen Friday
KENT — Police are looking for Donald Earl Pierce, 52, a Kent truck driver who has not been seen since early Friday.
Pierce was driving a cream-colored Kenworth tractor when he left Tacoma to pick up a semi-trailer in Bellevue. He never arrived.
Lettering on Pierce's tractor is near the driver's door and reads: "Leased to Temple Intl, Kent, Wa." Pierce is white, 6 feet 3 inches tall, 240 pounds, bald and has blue eyes. When last seen he was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans.
Anyone with information is asked to call Kent police at 253-856-5800.
Information is from Seattle Times staff and news services.