Restrooms, locker rooms searched across Vancouver district after reports of camera at Alki school
Vancouver Public Schools officials are searching locker rooms and restrooms throughout the district following reports that a staff member may have placed a camera in a girls locker room at Alki Middle School.
The district-wide search, announced Thursday in a video address by the district’s superintendent, came as the Clark County Sheriff’s Office revealed the staff member had also spent time at neighboring Skyview High School.
Authorities had not identified the employee or made any arrests, as of Thursday afternoon.
Detectives seized several of the staff member’s electronic devices, including computers, while executing search warrants at the employee’s house, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Skidmore. He said deputies also searched at Alki and Skyview.
The employee invoked their right to remain silent and has retained an attorney, Skidmore said.
The school district said the employee in question has been stripped of their access to district systems and buildings and placed on leave.
A letter sent to families of students at Alki and Skyview on Wednesday afternoon signed by Superintendent Jeff Snell said the employee in question left school grounds early and had not been located by law enforcement officials. A following news release from the sheriff’s office reported that deputies obtained search warrants and were conducting a search at the employee’s house Wednesday evening.
“Our students and their safety are at the heart of everything we do. We are both angry and frustrated to have to send this message to our community because it means the trust you have placed in us to care for our community’s children and our staff has been disrupted,” Snell said in his Thursday video address.
“We want you to know we are deeply sorry for the impact this situation is having on individuals and our collective community,” he said.
Snell said that the district will share additional information regarding the investigation in the coming days, if possible.
Judy Tenuta, brash ‘Goddess of Love’ comedian, dies at 65
LOS ANGELES — Judy Tenuta, a brash standup who cheekily styled herself as the “Goddess of Love” and toured with George Carlin as she built her career in the 1980s golden age of comedy, died Thursday. She was 65.
Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at home in Los Angeles, with her family around her, publicist Roger Neal told The Associated Press.
“She was a very funny, amazing performer,” Neal said, and it was always a “happy time to be around her.”
Her heart-shaped face, topped by bouffant hair with a flower accent, conveyed an impression of sweet innocence that was quickly shattered by her loud, gravelly delivery and acidic humor, expletives included. The accordion she made part of her act was “an instrument of love and submission,” as she fondly called it.
She was among a generation of performers who drove the popularity of live comedy in clubs nationwide including the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Laff Stop in Houston and Caroline’s in New York City. A typically male-dominated field found room for women, including Tenuta.
Tenuta gained national attention in 1987 with “Women of the Night,” a HBO special in which she starred with Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, and Rita Rudner.
In 1988′s “American Comedy Awards” TV special, Tenuta was named best female comedy club performer opposite male winner Jerry Seinfeld. Other honorees that year for their club or screen work included Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler.
“I would trade it in a minute, if I could just be a wife and mother,” wisecracked the gold lame-wrapped, gum-chewing Tenuta, who accepted her award from Carlin.
Judge: Facebook intentionally violated WA campaign finance law 822 times
A King County Superior Court judge's ruling means the social media giant could be liable for up to $25 million in fines.
No Big Changes From Gov. Inslee Following Biden's Call for Marijuana Pardons
As he announced pardons on Thursday for everyone convicted of marijuana possession under federal law, President Joe Biden also called on governors across the country to issue similar pardons for state marijuana convictions.
But don't expect any big changes in Washington, where the governor, the state Legislature and the state Supreme Court have all taken significant steps in recent years to expunge past drug convictions.
"The president's efforts are very much aligned with ours to correct some of our nation's longstanding disparities in the justice system," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a prepared statement Thursday.
The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington said it was still assessing how many people in the state might be affected by Biden's order.
As a federal crime, simple marijuana possession is most often charged on federal land, like national parks and military bases.
U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Nick Brown, who was appointed by Biden last year, applauded the president's move.
"I am encouraged that this will reduce the disparate impacts of a criminal conviction and shows a real improvement in our justice systems," Brown said in a prepared statement.
Inslee, in 2019, announced he would give pardons to anyone convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession between 1998 and 2012. Marijuana was made legal in Washington in 2012.
Inslee's pardon offer was less generous than what Biden announced Thursday. Inslee's order not only had date restrictions, but also applied to only those with a sole marijuana conviction and an otherwise clear record.
It also required those eligible to apply for the pardons, rather than granting them automatically. (Biden's pardon applies automatically, although the Department of Justice says that eligible people may need to apply for a "certificate of pardon" in order to prove the pardon applies to them.)
Mike Faulk, an Inslee spokesperson, said the governor has the authority under state law to issue clemency orders in response to requests, but he doesn't have "clear authority" to grant blanket pardons to whole classes of individuals or convictions.
"Beyond what we're already doing," Faulk wrote, "I'm not sure what else is left to do with the Gov's clemency authority."
The governor's office had estimated that roughly 3,500 people were eligible for the pardons, but, nearly four years later, only 38 have received pardons under the program, known as the Marijuana Justice Initiative.
But, shortly after Inslee offered marijuana pardons, the state Legislature followed suit, passing a law allowing people with marijuana convictions to apply to have them vacated.
Unlike Inslee's pardon offer, the law, passed in 2019, doesn't have a time limit and it allows people to vacate more than one marijuana possession conviction. It also applied to both state and municipal convictions. It requires a court to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions if a person asks and if they were 21 or older at the time of the offense.
In 2018, Seattle Municipal Court agreed to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession prosecuted before pot was legalized in Washington. As many as 542 cases were affected, officials said at the time.
The biggest step in forgiving past drug convictions came from the state Supreme Court which, in 2021, ruled the state's felony drug possession law to be unconstitutional because it did not require proof that someone knowingly possessed drugs.
The so-called Blake decision effectively, and temporarily, decriminalized drugs in Washington. The state Legislature acted quickly in re-criminalizing drugs, although possession of many drugs was downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Prosecutors have been working to clear the records of people convicted of drug possession under the old, invalidated law. There are, by some estimates, up to 150,000 old convictions statewide to be vacated.
Meanwhile, Inslee has been commuting the sentences of people who were still on probation or other community supervision under the old law. His office said he has commuted more than 740 such sentences.
WDFW Announces Seven Days of Clam Digging Starting Saturday
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced opportunities for clam digging at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis beaches from Oct. 8 to 14.
"Most of the 2,700 harvesters who went out during last week's season opener found easy digging, and we're expecting more of the same," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "As usual, we'll continue to test and monitor the situation closely prior to all planned openings."
The new dates come after previously announced clam digging times were canceled due to high levels of domoic acid. A recent test of marine toxin levels at Mocrocks beaches showed levels below the health guidelines. However, two test samples below the health guidelines taken 10 days apart required before a beach can reopen for razor clam digging.
Not all beaches are open during a dig and clam diggers are encouraged to check whether their intended destination is open before leaving.
Digging is prohibited on razor clam reserves. The reserves are marked out by 10-foot poles with signs.
The daily limit for razor clams is 15 clams per person regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
All diggers 15 and older must get a fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses may be purchased on WDFW's licensing website or from one of the hundreds of license vendors in the state. Options range from a three day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license. Prospective diggers are encouraged to purchase their license before visiting the digging locations.
The most successful times to dig occur one to two hours before the listed low tide time. Clam digging will be open at the following dates and associated low tide times:
Centralia College Swept by Pierce
The Centralia College volleyball team was swept Wednesday by Pierce College at home, 25-14, 25-11, 25-15.
No stats were reported, but Trailblazers coach Susan Gordon praised the leadership and effort of Catelyn Hunsaker through the three sets of play.
The Blazers (0-19, 0-4 NWAC) take on Highline at home on Friday for their next match.
Biden’s Choice After OPEC Cuts: Woo Saudi Arabia, or Retaliate?
The announcement by the Saudi-led OPEC Plus energy cartel that it would slash oil production was widely seen in Washington as a stab in the back of President Biden.
Justice Dept. Said to Have Told Trump Lawyers He May Have More Documents
The move underscores the skepticism among investigators about the former president’s cooperation with the effort to retrieve government material, and it exposed a rift among his lawyers.
Jurors in Alex Jones Trial Begin Deliberating
A six-member panel in Connecticut will decide how much the Infowars host owes to the families of shooting victims from Sandy Hook Elementary after he was found liable for defamation.
Exclusive: Despite pitfalls, Portland metro business owners remain upbeat
“There are still demographic tailwinds for the Northwest (and the Portland metro),” said one bank leader.