Army Drops Murder Charges Over Iraqi Boys' Deaths

M-BarberaThe Army has dropped murder charges against a soldier in the shooting of two unarmed Iraqi boys during a blown reconnaissance mission in 2007, but he still faces prosecution on allegations that he obstructed the investigation and threatened a journalist's wife. The News Tribune of Tacoma reports that the charges were dropped after a commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord reviewed the results of a pretrial hearing held last spring for Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera.

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Feds Give WA, OR More Time To Repay Bridge Money

The Federal Highway Administration is giving the states of Washington and Oregon five more years to repay tens of millions of dollars they were given for the now-defunct Columbia River Crossing — a new Interstate 5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver. The states requested the extension last month.

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Inslee: More Work To Prevent Oil Train Spills

Gov. Jay Inslee says more needs to be done to prevent and respond to oil spills, as trains increasingly move volatile shipments of crude oil through Washington state. The governor on Wednesday received initial findings from a state study looking into the safety and environmental risks of oil transport.

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College Students Train As Chelan Firefighters

With regulations making it harder to use volunteer firefighters, Chelan County Fire District 1 in Wenatchee has found a way to boost its workforce while helping students start their careers. The district partners with Wenatchee Valley College and Spokane Community College in a two-year program that trains students while they work as volunteers.

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16-year-old Boy Arrested In Spokane Valley Arson Spree

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday evening and accused of a Spokane Valley arson spree. KXLY reports he is being charged with arson for two house fires and five grass fires, but he's suspected in a total of 23 fires in the past two weeks. The total property loss was previously estimated at $700,000. Officials at a news conference Wednesday morning said investigators cracked the case with tips from people who had seen the teen driving a white four-door sedan.

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Gonzaga Pays $400K In Student Death

Gonzaga University has paid $400,000 to the family of Christopher Gormley, a student from Everett who died on a kayak trip organized by the school. The 18-year-old Gormley was one of seven people on a kayak trip to Rock Lake in Whitman County on April 1, 2012. The city of Spokane also paid $550,000 to Gormley's estate, a payment approved by the City Council this week.

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Police Search For Driver Who Hit Girl Hit In Street

The girl was on her way home from a tutoring class when she was hit by a car during the evening rush hour at the intersection of MLK and South Genesee in South Seattle. Police say the girl was found on the ground with critical injuries. Medics rushed her to Harborview Medical Center. Police are searching for the drivers of a red or maroon Chevy Tahoe truck that did not stop.

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