Washington state

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A Family Dispute May Have Destroyed This Motel

Cops: Man stepped on gas meter while helping stepdaughter out window

(Newser) - When police officers first arrived at a Motel 6 in Bremerton, Wash., on Aug. 18, they had no idea that a gas explosion would level a quarter of the building within minutes. Instead, they were called to the building because of a domestic dispute—and now they say that dispute... More »

Fast-Acting Motel Manager Saved Dozens

Tonya Hinds happened to be a former volunteer firefighter

(Newser) - A fast-acting manager who evacuated a Washington motel minutes before a massive explosion is being credited with saving dozens of lives, including some who were staying in rooms that were reduced to rubble. The blast Tuesday night critically injured a gas company worker and knocked back firefighters, but the guests... More »

3 Firefighters Dead in Washington State

More are injured battling wildfire

(Newser) - Tragedy in Washington state today as three firefighters were killed fighting a wildfire in the north-central part of the state, reports KING5 . At least three more were injured, one of them critically. It's not clear what happened, but firefighters earlier were battling what KOMO describes as "strong, erratic... More »

2 Missing After Gas Blast at Wash. Motel 6

Hotel manager sounded the alarm minutes before the explosion

(Newser) - Two people are missing after a terrifying gas explosion at a Motel 6 in Bremerton, Wash., destroyed a quarter of the building and sent a gas company employee to the hospital in critical condition, reports NBC News . KING 5 News reports officials are combing through debris after a gas leak... More »

Neighbors Sue Family Who Gained Fame Feeding Crows

Say they're now plagued by constant cawing, feces, rats

(Newser) - A sweet BBC story in February documented the relationship between 8-year-old Gabi Mann of Seattle and her close bond with the crows in her neighborhood: Since 2013, she'd been feeding them daily, sometimes even offering them her own lunch, then collecting the "gifts" they'd bring back for... More »

Hiker Dead in 'Avalanche' Ice Cave Collapse

5 injured on Washington's Big Four Mountain, including minors

(Newser) - One person is dead and five are injured after ice caves on Washington state's Big Four Mountain collapsed yesterday for the second day in a row. A hiker's body has yet to be recovered from the caves—formed in snow mounds that end up sliding down to the... More »

US Has First Measles Death in 12 Years

Washington woman succumbed to pneumonia caused by measles: health officials

(Newser) - A woman in Washington state who fell ill earlier this year and died is now said to have died from pneumonia caused by measles—making it what health officials say is the first measles death in the country since 2003, the Seattle Times reports. The cause of death of the... More »

'Mind Blowing' Fire Burns Entire Neighborhood

Severe drought fuels Washington state wildfire

(Newser) - From just across the Wenatchee River, Dominick Bonny watched a whole neighborhood in his central Washington town burn as a wildfire destroyed two dozen homes and forced hundreds to flee. "With the wind blowing away from us, it was like we were watching a natural disaster within arm's... More »

Burglars Find Dead Woman, Swipe Body, Identity: Cops

Yet men in Washington state did not get far

(Newser) - Two men accused of finding a Washington woman's body when they burglarized her home, then hiding the body and assuming her identity, have been arrested, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman says. "It's a bizarre story with a lot of moving pieces," Ed Troyer said yesterday.... More »

Rachel Dolezal Steps Down as NAACP President

'This is not about me. It's about justice,' she writes in Facebook post

(Newser) - This morning it seemed up in the air whether there'd be an NAACP meeting today to address the Rachel Dolezal controversy . Now, however, it appears that the NAACP part of the story is over, as Dolezal is apparently stepping down from her post as president of the Spokane chapter,... More »

Northwest's 'Milky Rain' Mystery Is Solved

Chalky substance came from dry lake bed in Oregon: scientists

(Newser) - Some 15 cities along a 200-mile stretch of the Pacific Northwest were coated in a mysterious, chalky substance on Feb. 6 after "milky rain" fell from the sky. For months, the white substance has been considered a "good old-fashioned weather mystery," per CNN . Now, it's a... More »

What the NAACP Thinks About Rachel Dolezal

Group issues statement in response to the chapter president being outed as white

(Newser) - A white Montana couple say their daughter, the head of the Spokane NAACP in Washington, has been disguising herself as a black woman for years, but it appears the NAACP is still standing by Rachel Dolezal, at least for now. A statement released today by the group notes that "... More »

Parents Say 'Black' NAACP President Is Really White

White couple from Montana says Rachel Dolezal is their biological daughter

(Newser) - In a story that's bizarre on a number of levels, Rachel Dolezal, a professor of African studies and head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., is said to have been outed as not being the black woman she's portrayed herself as—by her own supposed mom and... More »

Man's Quest for DB Cooper's Parachute Almost Kills Him

Former Navy SEAL Matt L'Hommedieu found himself in a 'dire situation'

(Newser) - DB Cooper infamously parachuted out of a plane and into legend in 1971. He hijacked a Boeing 727 en route to Seattle from Portland, was handed $200,000 in cash after its arrival there, took off with just the crew on a path toward Mexico, and vanished, most likely... More »

Police Shoot Unarmed Men Suspected of Stealing Beer

Olympia, Washington, sees protests in the aftermath

(Newser) - The latest outpouring of community anger over a police shooting is taking place in Olympia, Washington, where two unarmed black stepbrothers were shot by a white officer after the shoplifting of beer. Both are hospitalized but expected to live. Hundreds marched peacefully from a park to city hall yesterday evening,... More »

Scientists Find First Evidence of Dinosaurs in Wash. State

80M-year-old femur belonged to a theropod

(Newser) - It appears that around 80 million years ago, a theropod dinosaur roughly the size of a transit bus died near the sea and was jostled by waves, and at some point part of its femur became wedged into a rocky outcrop alongside clam fossils in Washington state's San Juan... More »

Teacher Saves Life of School Shooter

Cops say Brady Olson tackled armed teen as officer prepared to shoot

(Newser) - A troubled 16-year-old boy who may have been planning "suicide by cop" is alive today thanks to a teacher who says he "reacted in a way that any other teacher would react" to the sound of gunfire. Police say that after the teen fired two shots inside North... More »

Man Realizes He's Babysitting a Kidnap Victim

His sister is arrested in bizarre case in Washington state

(Newser) - Another strange kidnapping story is in the news, but the good part is that the 2-year-old at the center of it is safe and sound. Beyond that, things get weird—a man babysitting the boy called 911 to report his whereabouts after seeing an Amber Alert. The key developments:
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Concrete From Overpass Kills Young Couple, Baby

Parents were youth ministers in Washington state

(Newser) - A Washington state couple who died when a large concrete slab fell from a highway overpass onto their pickup truck were youth ministers in their 20s and parents to a 8-month-old baby. Josh and Vanessa Ellis and their baby, Hudson, died when a concrete barrier fell onto the cab of... More »

Guy Selling His House Over Comcast 'Incompetence'

Washington state man couldn't get an Internet hookup

(Newser) - A Washington state man is throwing in the towel after months of frustration trying to get broadband. In fact, he's planning to sell his new house—likely at a loss—and blames Comcast and CenturyLink for misleading him about getting his home online, Consumerist reports. The man, identified by... More »

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