Latest news from the Pacific Northwest
Local News

2 women threaten Niketown staff in robbery

Police in Seattle say two women who stole bags of clothes from a downtown Niketown store made their getaway by threatening staffers with a metal foot-measuring tool.

Teen charged with murder, rape in girl's death

The teenager accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 6-year-old neighbor girl in Washington state was charged as an adult Friday with aggravated murder and aggravated rape.

WSU regents approve plan for new medical school

Washington State University's board of regents on Friday unanimously approved the administration's controversial effort to start a new medical school in Spokane, citing the "dire need" for more doctors in the state.

Surplus equipment adds to military image of police

Protests and violence in Ferguson, Missouri might look similar to the 1999 WTO riots and recent May Day demonstrations in Seattle. The police response re-ignites the question of why police departments often look and act so much like a military force.

A's activate closer Sean Doolittle from DL

The Oakland Athletics have activated closer Sean Doolittle from the 15-day disabled list ahead of a key three-game series against Seattle.

Wash. apartment fire displaces 25 residents

A fire department spokeswoman says a fire likely caused by a smoldering cigarette butt has displaced 25 people and caused more than $500,000 damage at a Mountlake Terrace apartment complex.

Guilty plea in 28-year old Tacoma murder

DNA and a pack of cigarettes helped a Tacoma detective solve a nearly 30-year old cold case murder. The defendant pleaded guilty Fri.

New report says Washington needs to do far more for infertile couples

Nearly 150,000 women in Washington state are infertile, and a new report card says the state should do a lot better to help couples trying to conceive.

Don't be too quick to confront dog owners where dogs are banned

You've probably seen one in a restaurant, grocery store, courthouse or coffee shop. You might have asked yourself: "Is that really a service dog? That person doesn't look disabled. I should say something." Don't be too quick to wag your finger, shake your head or make a snide remark. Service dogs are specially trained to help disabled people function in their homes and in public. But the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require that they wear a sign or brightly colored vest, as commonly thought. "When a person attempts to enter a business with a dog, there are only two questions that can be asked," explained Paula Scott, with the non-profit Pet Partners petpartners.org of Bellevue. "Number one: is that a service animal? and number two: what task does it perform for you?" Service animals can be trained for many things, such as detecting low blood-sugar, sensing an oncoming seizure or assisting during a seizure, according to Scott. They can retrieve objects, summon help, even dial 9-1-1 on special phones. If the dog poses no threat, it must be allowed anywhere the public can go, even if dogs are otherwise banned, according to the ADA. Scott says service animals are now limited to dogs and mini-horses, probably because people were abusing the definition. "And there were monkeys and some people even were claiming that snakes and other reptiles were their service animals." While there are just two recognized service animals, there are many invisible disabilities that can benefit from their help. "Including psychiatric disabilities, so you can't assume-- like a lot of people do-- if a person isn't in a wheelchair, doesn't have a cane, they're not disabled," said Scott. Among the inivisible disabilities: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Iraq war veteran John George was given the options of medication or a service dog to help him cope with his PTSD. He found "Alfie." George made a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9wqtpCo3Bc as part of his role as service dog education coordinator for the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs. "I'm able to do so much now because of having Alfie in my life. I don't have to avoid public places or avoid crowds anymore." Paula Scott's non-profit organization focuses on "therapy animals," which are often used in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and senior centers. They can include cats, rabbits, llamas, potbellied pigs, even rats. They register about 11,000 therapy animals in the U.S. But, unlike "service dogs," they're not protected by the ADA. "A lot of people believe that, erroneously. They believe that if they become registered with Pet Partners and they get the Pet Partners therapy animal vest, that they can go anywhere and that's not true," said Scott. There are some legal protections for people who use animals that are not service dogs. The Fair Housing Act and the Federal Aviation Administration through the Air Carrier Access Act offer protections for people with therapy dogs, assistance animals or emotional support animals. Landlords cannot discriminate but they are allowed to ask for documentation that the animal is an assistance animal and the owner can be required to produce certification from a professional service dog trainer or a doctor's note stating the need for the animal. A landlord with a no pets policy cannot require a deposit or deny housing to a person with an assistance dog but the landlord can charge a cleaning or damage assessment. Sadly, some people do pass off their pets as service dogs. "Shame on them and unfortunately what it will likely do in the future, and this is just my personal guess, is that the law will get stricter in the future and certification will be required," she said.

Seattle mayor rolls out plan to address 'homeless crisis'

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Friday detailed plans to increase funding for public safety and add additional services for the homeless.

Police investigating shooting in South Seattle

Two people were injured in a shooting incident in South Seattle Friday afternoon.

Chargers' Flowers could miss Seahawks game

The Chargers could face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday without key cornerback Brandon Flowers.

Vandals smash dozens of windows on Westlake

The search is on for two men who smashed the windows of dozens of vehicles in Seattle's South Lake Union early Friday morning.

Former Costco CEO gets bill for Obama fundraising visit; Seattle to absorb $40k cost

Former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal will be getting a bill to cover the costs of police overtime for President Obama's fundraiser at his Hunt's Point home this summer. But it'll hardly break the bank.

Regents approve pursuit of medical school

The Washington State University board of regents has approved the administration's efforts to start a new medical school in Spokane.

« Previous
Next »