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Mother of American Hostage Pleads with ISIS 'Caliph' for Mercy


Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The mother of an American writer being held hostage by ISIS pleaded directly with the leader of the Iraqi terror group in a new video, begging him to “please, release my child.”“As a mother, I ask you justice be merciful and not [to] punish my son for matters he has no control over,” Shirley Sotloff says, speaking directly to the camera in the new video and addressing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the “caliph.” “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”&ldq

Two Men Abducted, Drowned in Philadelphia River, Third Man Escapes, Police Say


iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The bodies of two men, who had been bound, were found Wednesday dumped in a Philadelphia river and a third man was repeatedly stabbed but narrowly escaped the abductors believed to be responsible for the double homicide, police said.The survivor, a 20-year-old man, was taken off the street by four or five men early Wednesday morning and thrown into the back of a van, police said.He was then stabbed about nine times, in the torso and legs, Philadelphia police said, and his hands were tied behind his back with duct tape

Ebola Wards See Flood of Patients, Outflow of Bodies


Dr. Richard Besser/ABC News(MONROVIA, Liberia) – REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK by ABC News' Dr. Richard BesserBlue steel gates guard the back entrance to an Ebola treatment center, where new patients flood in faster than bodies are removed. On Tuesday, I met a burial team tasked with collecting and burning the bodies – a dangerous but crucial job amid the worst-ever outbreak.A guard opened the gates and motioned us inside. We found ourselves in the same courtyard where on Monday patients were sitting, waiting to be tested, and dying. Tuesday, the rain

Emmy Winner Sarah Silverman Insists 'I Wasn't Stoned'


Mark Davis/NBC(LOS ANGELES) --  Sarah Silverman had a big night at the 2014 Emmy Awards.The actress, 43, looked stunning on the red carpet to start the night, but when Giuliana Rancic took a peek inside her purse, she found what looked like a smoking device."That is my pot," she told Rancic, explaining it was a liquid form of marijuana.Silverman went on to win an Emmy during the award show for her HBO special Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles.In her speech, Silverman pronounced her love in the sweetest way during her acceptance speech, thanking "Mr.

Man Suing British Airways for Flying Him to Grenada, Not Granada, Spain


British Airways Media Centre(NORTH BETHESDA, Maryland) -- A Maryland man is suing British Airways because of a mix-up that landed him in a completely different country from his intended destination."I had a conference in Lisbon, Portugal, and I saw that as my opportunity to finally get to Spain," Dr. Edward Gamson, of North Bethesda, Maryland, told ABC News. "I had always wanted to see the Alhambra in Granada, Spain."But a major issue held up Gamson and his partner from their dream vacation: spelling.Granada, Spain, is spelled similarly to Grenada, a sm

ISIS Demands $6.6M Ransom for 26-Year-Old American Woman


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A third American hostage held by ISIS has been identified as a 26-year-old American woman who was kidnapped a year ago while doing humanitarian relief work in Syria. The terror group is demanding $6.6 million and the release of U.S. prisoners for the life of the young woman, who the family requested not be identified.She is the third of at least four Americans who were known to be held by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. American journalist James Foley was executed by the group in a video that appeared online l

Could Medical Marijuana Laws Cut Painkiller Deaths?


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- States that have legalized medical marijuana may be reaping an unintended benefit from easing up on restrictions: They appear to have nearly 25 percent fewer deaths from overdoses involving prescription painkillers, a new study found.The study, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, comes at a time when the United States finds itself in the throes of a growing painkiller abuse crisis. About 100 Americans die every day from narcotic painkiller overdose, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Dis

Desperate Search for Student Who Never Arrived for College


iStock/Thinkstock(MISSOULA, Mont.) -- Lucius Robbi packed his car a week ago and set out from Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, heading for Missoula, Montana, to start his junior year of college. But the California resident never made it to the University of Montana’s campus.Friends, family and volunteers are desperately searching across the vast mountain wilderness for any sign of the 21-year-old.His father, Marc Robbi, said it’s not like his son to go missing.“We’re very, very worried at this point,” Marc Robbi said.Lucius Robbi is

State funds projects to tee up large-scale development opportunities in Spokane


April 3, 2014

Advanced Planning Grant Program enabled by 777X incentive legislation

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced the award of two grants totaling $725,000 to the City of Spokane and Snohomish County’s Paine Field to advance environmental permitting efforts and help prepare sites for large-scale manufacturing development.

Paine Field will receive $400,000 to conduct environmental review for the approximately 840,000-square-foot Aerospace Business Park planned for the west side of the airport. While no specific tenants have been identified, the phased development proposes a number of large buildings ranging in size from 100,000 to 250,000 square feet available to aerospace suppliers that would benefit from being in close proximity to The Boeing Company’s Everett assembly site.

The City of Spokane will receive $350,000 to continue work in environmental pre-planning for an area known as the West Plains. A consortium known as AIR Spokane, that includes the city of Spokane, Spokane County, Spokane International Airport, Avista Corp., community colleges of Spokane and Greater Spokane Incorporated, has been working since 2011 to position more than 6,500 acres of developable land, for aerospace and other manufacturing activities. The city of Spokane recently developed a sub-area plan for the West Plains and is using that effort as a springboard. Through this grant, Spokane will identify critical mitigation needs for future industrial employers locating in the West Plains and develop plans to mitigate those impacts.

“The land around Paine Field and Spokane International Airport provides some of the greatest opportunities in Washington for large-scale aerospace manufacturing,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “This funding will help get these properties ready to go so companies can hit the ground running when they choose to establish new or expanded operations on either side of our state. Promoting broad-based, geographically diverse job growth is core to Governor Inslee’s economic development strategy for a working Washington.”

The Advanced Planning Grant Program was created by the Washington State Legislature in November 2013 during the special legislative session called to help the state win the Boeing 777X program. The Legislature appropriated $2 million in the current biennium to help local jurisdictions advance environmental review and permitting in and around large manufacturing sites. The Spokane and Everett projects are the first two to be awarded grants under the program. Another $1.1 million will be available for additional projects in Fiscal Year 2015.
“We appreciate the enthusiastic support of Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce for Paine Field and our planned Aerospace Business Park,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick. “Not only did they recognize it as a Project of Statewide Significance last summer, they have now provided us a $400,000 grant that will help us position the airport as a premier location for aerospace companies looking to expand or build new facilities. We’re confident that these investments will bring new family-wage jobs to Snohomish County.”

“Spokane’s West Plains is one of the fastest growing industrial areas in eastern Washington,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon. “It is already home to three major aerospace suppliers and Fairchild Air Force Base, eastern Washington’s largest employer. This grant will help us work through complex permitting issues, such as stormwater and transportation impacts, and will further our efforts to bring new jobs to the Spokane region. At the same time, these plans will ensure that new employment opportunities are consistent with the viability and competitiveness of the existing engines of job creation on the West Plains, including Fairchild Air Force Base.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the aerospace industry in Washington,” said Alex Pietsch, director of the state’s Office of Aerospace. “Following the decision to build the 777X and its carbon fiber wing in Washington, we know that companies from around the world want to be here. Yet, competition for these developments and the jobs that come with them is intense. Having large, ready-to-build sites in strategic locations around the state opens up options that make us that much more competitive.”
 

PUD Awards Students in Art & Photo Contests


Everett, WA — Snohomish County PUD today announced the names of 17 local students who won awards in the utility’s 2014 art and photography competitions. The contests engage students in energy topics.
 
Art Contest Winners
The art contest challenged students to create posters that teach people ways to be safe around electricity.
 
Diego Garcia Gonzalez           Kindergarten               Garfield Elementary, Everett 
Sadie Rose Alford                  Grade 2                       English Crossing Elementary, Lakewood
Juliana Gogun                         Grade 3                       Garfield Elementary, Everett 
Madeline Cho                         Grade 5                       Mukilteo Elementary
Cindy Liang                            Grade 5                       Mukilteo Elementary
Anna Ren                                Grade 6                       Homeschool
Aldair  Sanchez                       Grade 6                       Totem Middle School, Marysville
Aria Thompson                       Grade 6                       Totem Middle School, Marysville
Kailey  Kovach                        Grade 8                       Stillaguamish Valley School,  Arlington        
Chloe   Keehan                        Grade 9                       Sultan High School
Megan Sorn                             Grade 9                       Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish          
Logan  Weaver                        Grade 9                       Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish          
 
Photography Contest
For the PUD photography contest, high school students were challenged to capture the theme of “Energy in Action” in a photograph. Five students won awards, as follows:
 
Sarah Campo                           Grade 11                     Lake Stevens High School
Ingrid  Pelletier                       Grade 11                     Stanwood High School
Nikky Wyeth                          Grade 11                     Lake Stevens High School
Taylor  Albrecht                      Grade 12                     Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish          
Easton Lemos                         Grade 12                     Snohomish High School
 
The winners of the competitions will be recognized at the April 15, 2014, PUD Board of Commissioners meeting. The art and photography contest winners’ entries will be on display April 7-18, 2014, in the lobby of the PUD’s Everett headquarters.  They also are posted on the PUD website at www.snopud.com (click on Education/Contests & Camps).
 

Oso Mudslide Relief Information; For Victims and Families


Please click here for a list of relief/support resources.

Navy Yard Shooting Survivor Says He Watched Aaron Alexis Kill Friends, Coworkers


ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- John Weaver, a 13-year veteran of the Washington Navy Yard, could not believe his eyes as he watched Aaron Alexis methodically shoot six of his friends where they worked -- killing five of them."I heard a really loud bang," he told ABC News exclusively. "Two seconds later, I heard another really loud bang and then I realized somebody's in here and they are shooting