Judge won't force re-start by DSHS
But Judge Dean Lum left the door open for reconsideration of the motion by joining it to a lawsuit on similar issues already pending against the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
Chris Clifford of Renton asked the judge to decide whether DSHS broke the law when it dropped a Carnation property from its list of three potential sites without adding another to the list.
Though the judge commended Clifford for his legal arguments, Lum assigned his case to Judge Laura Middaugh — who is hearing arguments in a suit filed against DSHS by Concerned Citizens of Auburn and Federal Way — "to avoid inconsistent rulings from multiple judges."
Concerned Citizens is arguing that a site in Peasley Canyon should be eliminated because of its proximity to a home school and playground. Middaugh is expected to make a summary judgment ruling in that case in May.
Another avalanche in B.C. leaves Canadian man dead
INVERMERE, B.C. — One person died after 12 were caught in an avalanche Thursday in the Purcell Mountains southwest of this southeastern British Columbia town, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
The RCMP identified the victim as Ken Hoffert, 37, of Invermere. The other 11 escaped injury.
The latest death brings to 24 the number of people killed in avalanches in British Columbia this season.
The avalanche occurred a day after three snowmobilers died in a snowslide near Fernie and a French heli-skier died in a separate avalanche near Valemount.
Mandatory towing policy leads to class-action lawsuit
SEATTLE — A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the city of Seattle and two towing companies over the city's practice of impounding the cars of people caught driving with suspended licenses.
The lawsuit, filed last week, seeks refunds and damages for the owners of approximately 20,000 vehicles towed under the city's policy between 1999 and December 2002, when the state Supreme Court ruled that mandatory impoundment policies were unlawful.
The towing policy was designed to discourage people from driving with licenses that were suspended or revoked, usually because of unpaid traffic tickets.
But critics have assailed the law, arguing that it unfairly hurts the working poor, who often lose their cars because of an inability to pay the hefty towing and storage fees.
A spokeswoman for City Attorney Tom Carr said yesterday his office had not seen the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also names Lincoln Towing and Columbia Towing, the towing companies that were under contract with the city.
Guard-inmate relationship being investigated in Everett
EVERETT — Everett police are investigating an alleged consensual sexual relationship between a female Snohomish County Jail guard and a former female inmate.
Jail spokeswoman Susan Neely said that when county officials learned of the reported relationship last week they asked detectives to look into it. Neely won't say when the relationship occurred, but said it happened over "a span of time."
This is the fourth active investigation by Everett police into alleged criminal or sexual misconduct at the county jail.
Other investigations include: the disappearance of $10,000 in bail money that went missing from a jail safe; allegations that a former cook, the daughter of a high-ranking corrections official, forced sex on several male inmates; and alleged criminal misconduct involving jail personnel. Neely declined to elaborate on the fourth case.
In addition, Everett police are looking into the recent deaths of two female inmates: one died from dehydration caused by vomiting and a possible drug withdrawal; and another who, police say, died from a lethal dose of acetaminophen.
Seattle Times staff and wire services