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Top 10 Washington State Stories for 2013. Did Tri-Cities Make the List?

I-5 Bridge Collapses On Skagit River In Washington
(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

According to the Associated Press,  two Mid-Columbia news items made the top ten.

The Associated Press, a national and world-wide news gathering and reporting agency (and considered one of the leading authorities on breaking news) has compiled their list of the Top 10 news stories for our state for 2013.  They include:

  • 10.  Steve Ballmer retires from Microsoft – August- The man known for his wild and bombastic stage presentations at company meetings,  Ballmer has largely been the face of the computer giant since 2000.   He oversaw some of the most explosive growth of the company in becoming a multi-billionaire.
  • 9. Social activist Ed Murray, with no political experience, narrowly defeated Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn in the November election.  Murray was considered the leader of the movement to legalize gay marriage in WA.
  • 8. Gov. Inslee announcing the six leaking underground tanks at Hanford.  The February news did not come as a surprise to many here, as experts knew the majority of the underground nuclear waste tanks were well beyond their expected lifespan.
  • 7.  ACLU files lawsuit on behalf of same-sex marriage couple in the Arlene’s Flowers case.   As extensively reported by Newstalk 870, besides the State AG Bob Ferguson suing owner Baronelle Stutzman, the ACLU also filed suit after Stutzman refused to provide floral services for their wedding based upon her faith based principles.
  • 6.  NBA blocks attempt to move Sacramento Kings to Seattle.  It had appeared to be a “slam-dunk” deal, but at the last minute the NBA accepted a counter-offer from a Sacramento-based group that included building the Kings a new arena.   Despite a huge proposal from an ownership group in Seattle that included Microsoft’s Ballmer (see item 10), the NBA said no.
  • 5. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales gets life in prison for murder of 16 Afghan citizens in 2012.  He was sentenced in court proceedings at the Joint Base Lewis McChord near Tacoma.
  • 4. City of SeaTac voters approve to raise minimum wage to $15.  In a story with possible ripple effects in other communities, voters here decided to pay entry-level workers with little or no experience wages higher than some union workers.  It touched off a storm of controversy still being discussed.
  • 3.  I-5 bridge collapses near Mt. Vernon.   The span fell into the Skagit River in May, but luckily no one was seriously hurt or killed. The outdated span was reportedly struck by an oversize load truck that turns out, should not have been permitted to travel on the too-small-for-it’s-size span.   A temporary bridge was erected until repairs could be made.
  • 2.  State developing rules for sale of marijuana in pot stores.   This hasn’t gone well, countless unforseen legal and logistical issues after the passage of I-502 delayed the opening of the state pot stores from December 2013 until at least spring of 2014.
  • 1.   The AP considers the big Boeing story at the top.   The state legislature approved a series of tax breaks and incentives to keep the Boeing 777x project in Everett,  only to see the deal crash because the Boeing machinists union rejected a contract offer that the deals were contingent upon.   While officials have not given up, Boeing is not-so-quietly talking to numerous other states about locating the huge project outside of Washington.  If the project does leave WA, it could cost over 10,000 jobs.

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