Word on the Street

The latest news in and around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Category: Public safety


Puyallup City Council votes, 5-2, to approve memo of understanding with South Sound 911

Puyallup City Council voted Tuesday to approve a preliminary agreement with South Sound 911 that could pave the way for about $3.5 million in radio system improvements at no cost to the city.

The Memorandum of Understanding, approved in a 5-2 vote, outlines a path for continued collaboration between the city and the emergency services organization. The South Sound 911 policy board must approve the agreement before it is enacted.

South Sound 911 is a regional hub that was created following voters’ approval of a countywide sales tax increase in the November 2011 election.

Currently, South

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Website names Kalakala one of country’s most endangered historic ships

The Kalakala ferryboat has been named one of the most endangered historic ships in the country for 2012 by Fyddeye, which bills itself as “the Internet’s most comprehensive website for visitor information about America’s historic ships.”

The website’s readers nominated 27 ships and boats and then voted.

This is the second year Kalakala has made the list.

The 1930s-era boat is famous for its art deco design and sleek futuristic shape. The Coast Guard has declared the Kalakala a hazard to navigation last December and it continues to deteriorate in its moorage.

After a decade of unsuccessfully trying to find

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Family of firefighters to be honored for rescue attempt

A father and two sons who all work as firefighters for West Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters will be recognized Tuesday, May 15, for their efforts to save a Tacoma man who drowned in Lake Steilacoom last month.

Firefighters Jason and Jonathan Tinsley and Capt. Mark Tinsley dove in after 24-year-old Nickolas Munson shortly after arriving on the scene in the early morning hours of April 22. They were able to locate him and bring him to shore, but Munson was pronounced dead at a hospital.

In case you’re wondering, Mark Tinsley is the father of Jason and Jonathan

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Big bike swap this Saturday in Tacoma; all of Pierce County – and beyond! – are welcome

Pierce County residents who want to buy a bike, or have one to sell, should mark calendars for this Saturday.

The fourth annual Tacoma Bike Swap begins at 10 a.m. at the University of Puget Sound. Here’s what you need to know, from a news release issued by the City of Tacoma:

The fourth annual Tacoma Bike Swap springs into gear on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound Memorial Fieldhouse (North 11th Street and Union Avenue). Vendors will be selling bikes and bike parts for all types of riding and for

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Lahar sirens will blare today as part of monthly test

At 10 a.m. today, Pierce County Emergency Management will test the Mount Rainier Lahar Outdoor Warning Sirens. They will wail for about one minute.

Sirens are in Puyallup, Orting, Sumner, Fife, McMillin, Riverside and Alderton.

Today’s test marks the beginning of monthly lahar tests. The tests will take place on the first Monday of every month.

If you have questions, call 253-798-7470.

Read The News Tribune’s complete story about the monthly lahar tests here.


Pierce County studies courthouse security; leaves new weapons policy on hold for now

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy asked State Rep. Chris Hurst (D-Enumclaw) Monday to study a state law requiring county officials to take knives and other dangerous weapons into safekeeping while their owners visit courthouses.

In the meantime, a safety committee is reviewing plans to increase security at the county’s three courthouses in compliance with state law, McCarthy said.

County officials announced earlier this month they would no longer hold Mace, knives, clubs, flammable liquids, toy guns or replicas, handcuffs or handcuff keys and a long list of other objects for visitors.

There is an exception, under state law, for guns, which can be checked at the door. But that exception also applies to other kinds of weapons.

It’s long been a practice to receipt guns, knives and similar items that are banned from the courthouse and allow their owners to retrieve them on the way out.

The county’s new security procedures were designed to increase courthouse safety and make the visitor screening process less costly and more efficient, McCarthy said.

People entering the busy County-City Building in Downtown Tacoma and other courthouses are subject to airport-style scrutiny, which includes walking through a metal detector and putting your bags on an X-ray machine conveyor belt.

You can read about courthouse screening procedures here.

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