Speaker Chopp to pay $6,470 for campaign finance violations

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — House Speaker Frank Chopp will pay $6,470 in penalties and attorneys’ fees related to campaign finance violations.

The attorney general’s office announced Tuesday that the Seattle Democrat has been assessed $3,480 in penalties, of which half is suspended as long as he doesn’t have any additional violations over the next four years. Chopp also must pay $4,729.78 in attorneys’ fees, court costs and costs of investigation.

The office says that Chopp was late in disclosing contributions and expenditures, including debt. He also was late in returning contributions that went above the allowed limit.

Chopp said Tuesday that the violations were unintentional.

Judge denies DOJ request to dismiss Seattle ‘dreamer’ case

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal magistrate has recommended that the case of a Mexican man who was picked up by immigration agents near Seattle despite participating in a federal program for those brought to the country illegally as children remain in federal court and not in immigration court. He also decided not to immediate release 24-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina while the case continues.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue in his recommendation Tuesday denied the Justice Department’s request to dismiss the case brought by Ramirez, saying arguments that his constitutional rights were violated deserve to be heard in U.S. District Court.

Attorneys for Ramirez said in a statement they’re pleased the court rejected the government’s efforts to dismiss the case but plan to file an objection to the judge’s denial of Ramirez’s immediate release.

Donohue’s recommendations will next go before Chief District Judge Ricardo Martinez for consideration.

Pierce County deputy fatally shoots man outside Fife motel

FIFE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say an undercover sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a man outside a motel south of Seattle in Fife after the man allegedly drove into another deputy.

The News Tribune reports the incident happened Tuesday when a special investigations unit went to the motel to look for a 36-year-old felon wanted for multiple burglaries.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Ed Troyer says deputies located the man in a vehicle and blocked him in an unmarked patrol car.

Troyer says deputies took a woman in the car into custody on an arrest warrant but that the man then drove over a curb and backed into a patrol car.

Troyer says the man did it again, hitting and knocking down a deputy. Troyer says then the other deputy fired and the man died at the scene.

The hit deputy suffered minor injuries.

Man pleads guilty to child abuse against infants

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A man in southwestern Washington has pleaded guilty to assaulting his twin children causing one to be hospitalized with fractured ribs and injuries to his liver and pancreas.

The Daily News reports 29-year-old Jeremy Hochstetler pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault of a child.

Court documents say sheriff’s deputies began investigating in November when one of the twins, then 7-months-old, was admitted to a Portland hospital with the fractures and other injuries. The boy had previously been seen for vomiting blood and had been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer.

Documents say doctors examined the twin sister and found multiple rib fractures in the healing stage.

Documents say Hochstetler told police he knew when the boy began vomiting blood it was because he had compressed the boy’s abdomen. Documents say Hochstetler said he acted out of frustration and stress.


Demolition resumes on Hanford plutonium plant

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Demolition of a major plutonium plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state has resumed.

The Tri-City Herald reports that demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant’s Plutonium Reclamation Facility resumed this week after being halted in late January when a radiation alarm sounded.

The plant operated for decades making hockey puck-sized tablets of plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Kelly Wooley is deputy project manager for the Plutonium Finishing Plant for U.S. Department of Energy contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.

Wooley says the source of the radioactive contamination in a rubble pile that has been cleaned up wasn’t identified.

Seattle declines to end Wells Fargo banking contract now

SEATTLE (AP) — Top officials in Seattle have sent a letter to Wells Fargo saying the city will honor its contract through the expiration date rather than cut ties now over the bank’s role as a lender to the Dakota Access pipeline project.

The Seattle Times reports Mayor Ed Murray, Council President Bruce Harrell and Councilmember Tim Burgess sent a letter to bank officials Friday saying a new bank will be found when their contract ends at the end of 2018.

Councilmembers voted unanimously Feb. 7 to direct officials to end the city’s contract with the San Francisco-based bank once it expires. Wells Fargo responded, giving the city of Seattle the chance to break its contract now.

The city officials wrote that the complexity of banking services used by the city will require a lengthy process to secure a new vendor.

Fewer students arrested after Spokane school policy change

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Police school resource officers in Spokane are arresting far fewer students after the district changed the way it approaches discipline issues.

The Spokesman-Review reports that as of Feb. 28, district officers have arrested 58 students. That compares to 467 arrests at the same time last year.

The changes are partly in response to a new state law that limits long-term suspension and expulsion and demands districts collect and publish more data on discipline. Many of the changes already been implemented in the field, but the district’s board will consider the policy later this month.

District spokesman Kevin Morrison says the district is still working on the policies because the state mandate is so new. The changes include putting an emphasis on deescalating situations before making an arrest, and requiring resource officers to be trained on how to communicate with kids who have behavioral issues or disabilities.