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    Police have released the name of a police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed a woman last week in a Seattle crosswalk. Seattle Police Department Detective and spokesperson Judinna Gulpan confirmed in an email to The Associated Press Monday that the officer is Kevin Austin Dave. Gulpan did not answer questions about whether Dave is back on patrol and said police are still exploring what, if any, additional details they can release. Police say Dave was responding to an urgent call in a patrol vehicle on Jan. 23 when 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula was was hit. Seattle traffic police are investigating.

      The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen the former leader of the King County Democrats as its new chair. The Seattle Times reports 38-year-old Shasti Conrad was chosen Saturday. Conrad is a political consultant who ran unopposed with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington’s Democratic U.S. senators, most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation and other elected Democrats. She is the first woman of color to serve as chair and the youngest chair in the state party’s history. The state party says she is also the first Indian American woman to serve as a state party chair in the country. Caleb Heimlich was reelected chair of the state Republican Party last week.

        Massachusetts has joined several other states in establishing a hotline that will offer free legal advice to women seeking abortions in the state, as well as their health care providers and helpers. Attorney General Andrea Campbell says the hotline announced Monday is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer that overturned Roe v. Wade and led to increasingly restrictive abortion laws in other states. When a patient or provider calls the hotline, coordinators from the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation and the Women’s Bar Foundation will help connect the callers to one of about 150 specially trained volunteer attorneys.

        A man suspected of breaking into a Seattle home has refused to come clean about his intentions, even though police found him fully clothed in a bathtub filled with water. Seattle police say a woman returned to her home Friday night to find a window smashed and an unknown man inside the house. She remained outside the home and called police. Upon their arrival, officers instructed anyone inside to come out. When they got no reply, they went in to search the home . That's when the found the fully clothed man bathing in a filled bathtub. The 27-year-old man refused to explain his actions, and he arrested on a residential burglary charge.

        One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. The News-Tribune reports a federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan granted Greenwood’s release on an appearance bond, or the promise to show up to future hearings and abide by conditions removing him from custody, including electronic monitoring and mandated drug treatment. Bryan noted the court was taking a risk, telling Greenwood it was up to him to make sure the risk was well taken.

        The largest glacier between the Washington state high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted. KUOW reports for thousands of years, the Hinman Glacier graced the crest of the Washington Cascade Mountains in what is now King County. Fifty miles east of downtown Seattle, Mount Hinman sits in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, midway between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass. Nichols College glaciologist Mauri Pelto led a team to Mount Hinman in August 2022, as he has most summers since 1984. This time, they found its namesake glacier was no more. In its place were just a few patches of snow and ice. Pelto says it's the biggest North Cascade glacier to completely disappear.

        Four white men with white supremacist ties have been sentenced in federal court in Seattle for an assault on a Black DJ in the suburb of Lynnwood. All four were convicted of committing a hate crime and making false statements. The Daily Herald reports Jason DeSimas, of Tacoma, and Jason Stanley, of Boise, Idaho, were sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Randy Smith, of Eugene, Oregon, got 3½ years, and Daniel Dorson, of Corvallis Oregon, got 2⅓ years. They were also ordered to pay nearly $171,000 in restitution. Tyrone Smith spoke publicly outside the courthouse saying the defendants’ actions changed him from an outgoing person to someone who struggles with anxiety and uses a cane.

        In Oregon, mass timber is increasingly being viewed as a construction material that could help the state build more affordable homes and revive rural logging towns. Mass timber is made from wood products that are fastened together to make large panels or beams. A new prototype of a affordable mass timber housing unit was unveiled at the Port of Portland on Friday. The Oregon Mass Timber Coalition aims to open a factory at the port that could mass produce homes. The coalition says the increase in production would help alleviate the state’s housing shortage. Some environmental groups say the material could lead to deforestation.

        Police say a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive in Oregon, and who was convicted in Nevada of keeping another woman in captivity, is using dating apps to try to find people to help him avoid the police or find new victims. Benjamin Obadiah Foster is the subject of an intensive search by police after a woman was found unconscious, bound and near death in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday. On Thursday night, police, sheriff’s deputies, a state patrol SWAT team and federal agents raided a property in the unincorporated community of Wolf Creek, but Foster managed to escape.


        Willie Richardson, a longtime champion for minority education and respected voice for racial equality in Oregon, has died. The family told the Statesman Journal that Richardson, of Salem, died Wednesday at age 74. Close friends and family members said Richardson had been dealing with ongoing health issues. In 1987 Richardson was the first Black person elected to the Salem-Keizer school board and is the past president of Oregon Black Pioneers. The organization posted on Facebook that her "immeasurable impact on the organization, the city of Salem, and the state of Oregon will be felt for many generations.”

        Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant wants to add caste to the city's anti-discrimination policy in Seattle workplaces, saying discrimination takes place based on the South Asian practice of assigning people their social status at birth. The Seattle Times reports Sawant said this week that South Asian American and other immigrant working people face caste discrimination in workplaces including in the tech and hospitality sectors. Sawant is the city’s only Indian American council member, and a socialist who recently announced she will leave the council when her term expires later this year. Seattle's anti-discrimination policy currently includes gender, age, race and sexual orientation.

        Police in southern Oregon are searching for a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive, less than two years after he was convicted in Nevada of critically injuring another woman he held captive for two weeks. Police Chief Warren Hensman, of Grants Pass, Oregon, told The Associated Press that he finds it “extremely troubling” that the felon was able to reoffend instead of still being behind bars for the Nevada crimes. The Nevada woman's captivity ended only when the victim managed to escape. Benjamin Obadiah Foster, who is 36, is charged in Oregon with attempted murder, kidnapping and assault.

        The names of three people killed in a random shooting Tuesday at a convenience store in Yakima, Washington, have been released. The Yakima Herald-Republic reports 40-year-old Nikki Godfrey, 65-year-old Roy Knoeb Jr., and 54-year-old Jeffrey Howlett, died in the shooting at a Circle K. A probable cause affidavit filed by Yakima police says Godfrey and Knoeb of Yakima were shot to death inside the store around 3:30 a.m. by 21-year-old suspect Jarid Haddock. The affidavit says Haddock then walked outside and shot Howlett of Selah, who was sitting in his SUV at the gas pumps. Police say Haddock fatally shot himself later that day.

        A jury has awarded an Oregon woman $1 million in damages after finding she was discriminated against by a gas station employee who told her, “I don’t serve Black people.” The Multnomah County jury's award to 63-year-old Rose Wakefield, of Portland, this week included punitive damages of $550,000. Her lawyer says Wakefield stopped for fuel at Jacksons Food Store in Beaverton in 2020 and saw the attendant ignore her and pump gas for other drivers before making that comment. Wakefield complained twice to managers, but her lawyer says those calls were largely disregarded. Jacksons Food Stores said the company has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and that it respectfully disagrees with the jury’s ruling.

        Colorado lawmakers unanimously voted to push forward a bill that would create a $2 million pilot program to use cameras and artificial intelligence technology to help identify fires before they burn out of control. The bill was approved by a Senate committee Thursday, and comes a year after the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history scorched nearly 1,100 homes. The goal is for cameras and an AI algorithm to detect the plume of smoke and alert first responders who can stomp out the blaze before it grows. The proposed pilot program to help quench increasingly drastic wildfires in Colorado will move to the state Senate Appropriations Committee next.

        The Washington state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday over an effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its reliance on sales and fuel taxes falls disproportionately on low-income residents. Democrats in Olympia enacted a 7% capital gains tax in 2021 on the sale of stocks, bonds and other high-end assets. It was expected to be paid by 7,000 people and to bring in close to a half-billion dollars a year. But it faces a legal challenge from wealthy residents and business groups who say it violates the state and federal constitutions.

        Abortion rights proposals were front and center this week in Olympia, Washington, as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access. The Seattle Times reports the emphasis on four legislative committees hearing abortion bill testimony in one day Tuesday was intended to demonstrate majority Democrats’ support for abortion rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Democratic lawmakers have introduced bills that would protect abortion providers in Washington from facing retaliation from other states and lower costs for patients, among others. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in the state.

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