Lights & Sirens

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Category: Washington


Gregoire calls for moment of silence today for Sandy Hook victims

Gov. Chris Gregoire has asked Washingtonians to observe a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. in honor of the victims fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy declared today “a day of mourning” in his state as funerals continue for the 26 children and seven adults killed.

“We are all heartbroken by this senseless violence,” Gov. Gregoire said in a statement. “Mike and I often think of those parents who will never again hug their first-graders. The courageous acts of the staff at Sandy Hook were truly selfless and heroic. The people of

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Out with the sun, in with the rain

Dry weather is about to become a thing of the past so grab your umbrella and hold on.

Mother Nature is about to flip a switch, swapping the recent months of blue skies and warm temperatures for the more familiar gloom, cloudy days and unrelenting showers.

Expect the change late Thursday or Friday morning.

“Looks like summer is coming to an end here,” National Weather Service meteorologist Art Gaebel said.

The first of four weather systems will hit by the end of the week, bursting through the ridge of high pressure that has held off precipitation for so long. A

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Unused prescription medications to be collected Saturday for Drug Take Back initiative

Puget Sound area residents with unused or unwanted prescription drugs are encouraged to drop them off Saturday at various collection sites as part of a national initiative.

At least eight local law enforcement agencies will set out bins where people can anonymously place the medications between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The drugs are then destroyed.

This is the third year for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back initiative, which was launched to combat abuse of prescription drugs. Many local agencies have set up year-round collection boxes.

Illegal drugs, syringes, insulin and medical waste are not accepted.

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Woman rescued after falling off bluff at Point Defiance Park

UPDATE, 4:52 PM: The injured woman has been lifted to safety. Patient stable, alert, communicative, according to Tacoma Fire. Woman appears to be in her 30s or 40s. She is being evaluated by paramedics.

UPDATE, 4 P.M.: Tacoma Fire says crews are securing the ropes system to bring the injured woman up. She is about 75 feet down a steep incline. A tweet from the fire department says the patient is stable.

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Crews fighting fire near East boundary of Mount Rainier National Park

Crews are working to put out a fire started by lightening Sept. 8 that is burning near the east boundary of Mount Rainier National Park, within a mile of Three Lakes, park officials said Sunday.

The fire has burned 5 acres and is expected to be fully controlled Tuesday.

25 people are working to put out the blaze, including North Cascades Smokejumpers, Mount Rainier National Park firefighters a helicopter crew and personnel from Denali National Park.

North Cascades smokejumpers got to the fire this morning to help with ground operations.

All trails in the park are open, except the Laughingwater Creek Trail,

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Pierce County nurse’s assistant charged with unprofessional conduct

The state Department of Health has charged a Pierce County nurse’s assistant with unprofessional conduct after she was convicted of assault and theft.

Michelle Punches has 20 days to respond to the charges in writing. Her license to practice is invalid until a disciplinary agreement is reached. She was issued a nursing assistant credential in May 2008.

Punches was arrested in May 2011 for allegedly shoplifting at a Tacoma grocery store. She reportedly told the officers transporting her to jail that she periodically used methamphetamine.

She was arrested again in July 2011 after stealing items from a Puyallup store. When

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Trace of rain ruined region’s chance to mark longest dry streak

It was over in 14 minutes.

That’s how long it took for .01 inches of rain to fall late Sunday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Just the bare minimum of moisture needed to qualify as measurable rain ruined the region’s chance to mark the longest dry spell.

“This is like losing a high-scoring basketball or football game by only 1 point….really frustrating!” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass wrote on his blog.

The brief shower started at 11:35 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The record remains 51 days set in the summer of 1951.

Second place goes to the

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253 Pierce County drivers arrested during DUI emphasis patrol

During a two-week enforcement campaign aimed at impaired drivers, Pierce County law enforcement arrested 254 people.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission today released the results of the Drive Hammered, Get Nailed patrols that took place from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.

This year’s numbers were down from last year, when 287 drivers were arrested in Pierce County on suspicion of DUI during the same emphasis patrol.

More than 1,600 drivers were arrested statewide, according to the commission.

Participating agencies included police from Bonney Lake, DuPont, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma and University Place, as well

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