Latest Washington news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. PST
WASHINGTON LEGISLATURE-EVICTION REFORM
Washington House approves measure to limit evictions
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington House has approved a measure that would require landlords to provide a valid reason for ending certain leases with tenants. The bill advanced out of the Democratic-led chamber Sunday on a mostly party line 54-44 vote, and now heads to the Senate for consideration. Under current law, landlords are allowed to end month-to-month leases with 20 days’ notice, without providing a reason. The House proposal specifies reasons that landlords could end leases, including failure to pay rent, unlawful activity and nuisance issues, as well as cases in which a landlord intends to sell or move into a rental. Under the proposal, landlords who remove tenants in violation of the rules may be subject to a penalty of up to three months’ rent.
Seattle ticketing company to pay $9 million in restitution
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Seattle ticketing company Brown Paper Tickets has agreed to pay $9 million in restitution to an estimated 45,000 customers. The Seattle Times reports the payments will go to ticket buyers owed refunds and event organizers owed box-office revenue largely because of problems that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington State Office of the Attorney General filed a consent decree in King County Superior Court on Monday after filing a lawsuit on behalf of customers. Some of those customers were ticket-buyers who wanted their money back or wanted to donate the cost of their tickets for canceled events, many of which were fundraisers. The company also failed to pay organizers for remote events that took place despite the pandemic or had occurred before its onset.
Jill Biden arrives in Washington state to tour bases
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden has arrived in Washington state to tour military bases and meet with service families. She was greeted Monday afternoon at Joint Base Lewis-McChord airfield by Gov. Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi Inslee. In Washington, the first lady plans to tour JBLM on Monday and Tuesday. Also Tuesday, she’ll go to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. On Wednesday, Biden will visit Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California. The visits are part of Biden’s push to hear about the challenges military families face and the support they need.
MASSAGE THERAPIST SEXUAL ASSAULT
Massage therapist who sexually assaulted women gets prison
BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A Bremerton massage therapist who sexually assaulted women has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. The Kitsap Sun reports a Kitsap County Superior Court judge on Monday sentenced Joshua Jenkins after he pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and three counts of indecent liberties. Court documents say Bremerton police began investigating Jenkins last June when a woman said Jenkins inappropriately touched her at an appointment at Manette Day Spa. Jenkins told investigators he initiated “consensual” sexual contact with at least 20 clients by making overtures during massages, which is a violation of basic medical ethics. He claimed Monday he did not understand the destructive effect he had on clients.
SHERIFF OFFICE LAWSUITS-SETTLEMENT
Snohomish County settles 2 lawsuits against sheriff’s office
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A county in Washington state has agreed to pay $104,000 to settle two lawsuits against the Snohomish County sheriff’s office where a man was bit by a police dog and another man was hit by a patrol car. The Daily Herald reported that Snohomish County, which is not admitting liability by settling, is avoiding attorney and expert witness fees and other trial costs that would have likely exceeded settlement amounts. Snohomish County Council does not have to approve settlements lower than $100,000. County spokesman Kent Patton said “the settlements speak for themselves.” Patton declined to comment any further. Court records show the county has declined allegations in both lawsuits.
CHINOOK SALMON FORECAST
Forecast for spring chinook up from last year, but still low
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Forecasts for this year’s salmon runs show a doubling of spring chinook in the Nooksack River. It gives some hope even though the species remains threatened across the Puget Sound region. Fisheries managers say the projected runs for 2021 show 7,540 spring chinook returning to the north fork of the Nooksack River. That’s almost double the 3,949 fish that returned in 2020. Officials say that’s a decent increase from last year but over 20 years, Puget Sound chinook continue to decline. They’re listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are the primary food of the Salish Sea’s endangered orcas, called southern resident killer whales.
1 dead, 1 arrested after shooting on transit bus in Everett
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — One man is dead and another man is in custody after a shooting on a community transit bus in Everett. Police said the two men were on a bus traveling on Evergreen Way when they got into an altercation. One man pulled out a gun and fired two shots, hitting the other man. Police and firefighters received the call at 8:18 p.m. Sunday. When officers arrived they started giving CPR to the victim, but he died at the scene, police said. No other information about the victim has been released. The suspect was taken into custody. His identity has not been released.
MacKenzie Scott marries Seattle teacher after Bezos divorce
SEATTLE (AP) — MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist, author and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has married a Seattle science teacher. Dan Jewett wrote in a letter to the website of the nonprofit organization the Giving Pledge on Saturday that he was grateful to be able to marry such a generous person and was ready to help her give away her wealth to help others. Jewett has been a teacher for decades and most recently taught chemistry at the private Lakeside School, where Scott’s children attended. Scott donated $5.7 billion in 2020 by asking community leaders to help identify 512 organizations for seven- and eight-figure gifts, including food banks, human-service organizations, and racial-justice charities.
US states look to step up wolf kills, pushed by Republicans
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wolf hunting policies in some U.S. states are taking an aggressive turn as Republican lawmakers and conservative hunting groups push to curb their numbers. Antipathy toward wolves for killing livestock and big game dates to when early European immigrants settled the American West in the 1800s. It flared again as the animals rebounded under federal protection. Former wildlife officials and animal advocates say what’s emerging now is different: a politicized campaign to drive down wolf numbers including with methods long shunned by wildlife managers. Those methods include shooting wolves from the air and payments to hunters reminiscent of bounties that widely exterminated the species last century.
WASHINGTON LEGISLATURE-CAPITAL GAINS
Washington Senate approves new tax on capital gains
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Senate has narrowly approved a capital gains tax on the sale of high-profit stocks and bonds. The measure would impose a 7% tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other high-end assets _ like a classic car or painting _ in excess of $250,000 for both individuals and couples. Retirement accounts, homes, farms and forestry would be exempt from the proposed tax. The measure would take effect Jan. 1, 2022, and is expected to bring in about $500 million a year. The capital gains tax has been introduced several times in previous years. But it has never gained traction in the Legislature. Saturday’s vote in the Senate is the farthest the idea has made it through the legislative process. The bill heads to the House.