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Music star Chris Cornell, former West Seattleite, dies at 52

6:52 AM: Sad news overnight. Music star Chris Cornell has died in Detroit, just 52, after Soundgarden‘s sold-out concert there. His Seattle ties were strong, given his years with that band (and so much more). He lived in West Seattle long ago, as mentioned here in WSB’s early months, when he had a solo hit with the theme from the first James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig. Mr. Cornell also was a philanthropist, forming the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation with his wife, “to protect the most vulnerable children.” He is survived by three children of his own. His body was found in his hotel room; the cause of his death is under investigation. (2011 photo, via Wikimedia)

P.S. KEXP is paying tribute all day (90.3 FM/online).

12:02 PM: Authorities in Detroit say Mr. Cornell died by suicide.

There’s help for anyone thinking of self-harm … here in King County, the Crisis Clinic has a 24-hour hotline at 206-461-3222. And here’s what the American Federation for Suicide Prevention says.

11:23 PM: A view of tonight’s biggest tribute:

UPDATE: House fire in North Shorewood

3:19 PM: Thanks for the tips. There’s a fire in the North Shorewood area, and that’s why smoke (and at least one helicopter) is visible from Arbor Heights. Colby says the fire is at 26th/109th [map], and that roads are blocked in the area, and tweeted this photo:

We’ll be there shortly for updates.

3:33 PM: Our crew has arrived at the fire scene. The house is on 26th SW south of SW 109th. As noted in comments, Seattle Fire has sent units as mutual aid (including Engine 11):

Big response overall – this area is served by the North Highline Fire Department.

One person has minor injuries, we’re told, and was treated at the scene.

3:45 PM: The fire (at 10907 26th SW) is out or close to it, our crew reports, and investigators are on the way to try to find out how it started. We’ll check back at the scene later in the afternoon.

6:12 PM: Just went back. The investigator hasn’t been able to go in because the fire has been flaring up. So firefighters will stay on scene TFN just in case they’re needed.

DOWNTOWN ALERT: Closures, detours for investigation of shooting that injured officers

3:36 PM: We haven’t mentioned this downtown situation sooner (aside from comment discussions) because of the 35th/Morgan crash closure (updates here), but now that the pm commute is starting and the situation is not yet resolved: Some blocks in the heart of downtown are still closed for the investigation of a shooting that injured two Seattle Police officers after a store robbery downtown. Both are at Harborview Medical Center. SPD says it found two suspects and is seeking a possible third. The closures have been affecting Western, 1st, 2nd, from Spring to Madison to Marion, so if you’re trying to get through downtown, heading as far east as you can, before heading south, is a good bet.

3:50 PM: SPD tweeted that they are no longer looking for someone else, “all suspects in custody.” At about the same time, authorities briefing media at Harborview said one officer is in stable condition, one is in serious condition. No new updates on road closures/bus changes.

4:34 PM: Updated road closures downtown, per SDOT: “Western Ave between Spring St & Marion St.; Marion St between Western Ave & 1st Ave.”

4:48 PM: Now SPD says there might be a third suspect after all. Meantime, thanks in advance to commenters sharing any updates on how things are going getting from downtown to West Seattle – Mary took RapidRide and says “no issues.”

DOWNTOWN ALERT UPDATE: Police standoff over

(Texted photo – added after incident ended)

3:05 PM: With pm commute time approaching, you might need to know about road closures and bus reroutes related to an ongoing standoff downtown with a man in crisis who is said to be armed with a knife.

Metro says that “buses are rerouted off 3 Av between Spring & Union Sts. Use stops on 3rd Av south of Spring St or north of Union St.” Updates to come.

3:31 PM: SPD says the situation is “static” but acknowledges its negotiators are working on it.

3:58 PM: SPD update:

4:22 PM: Standoff continuing. (We’re monitoring via scanner as well as via public channels such as Twitter.)

4:25 PM: And now … it’s over. SPD says the man gave up his knife and was taken into custody without incident.

4:33 PM: As police have barricades to remove, among other things, it’ll take a bit for the streets to get back to regular flow, so don’t rush out just yet.

4:55 PM: As of a few minutes ago, Metro says, buses are getting back to normal on 3rd.

5:43 PM: Here’s how the incident was summed up on SPD Blotter, including a photo of the man’s knife.

TRAFFIC/SAFETY ALERT: Gas-leak response on 4th Avenue at Yesler

March 6, 2017 2:47 pm
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/SAFETY ALERT: Gas-leak response on 4th Avenue at Yesler
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | West Seattle news

2:47 PM: If you are in, or headed toward, downtown, avoid 4th Avenue in/through the Yesler vicinity – a major Seattle Fire response has been dealing with a natural-gas leak from a four-inch line. The area is closed off and some nearby buildings have been evacuated. SFD reports the leak has been stopped as of moments ago but they are still monitoring to decide if it’s safe to allow people back into the area.

3:18 PM: SFD says the 100 people evacuated from nearby buildings are in the process of “re-occupying.”

3:30 PM: SDOT says all lanes of 4th have reopened.

EARTHQUAKES: 4.2 in Hood Canal area felt by some here; later, a 4.8 off Vancouver Island

9:33 PM: Just got a text from someone in the Alki area saying they felt an earthquake that hit about half an hour ago in the Hood Canal area. Preliminary info indicates it was magnitude 4.2, which is stronger than the mild earthquakes which otherwise aren’t so uncommon in the region. The epicenter is described as west of Belfair. (The US Geological Survey map puts it under Hood Canal.) Will add anything more we find out.

10:26 PM: No damage reported, according to authorities near the epicenter:

10:33 PM: Much further away, but still in our region, another quake tonight – 4.8 magnitude, off northwest Vancouver Island (here’s the USGS page). And we’re reminded that the 16th anniversary of the 6.8 Nisqually quake is next week. So we’re going to take a moment to remind you again of your Emergency Communication Hubs – memorize the nearest one, so you know where to go in case of something big:

Seen from West Seattle: Boat fire off Bainbridge Island

Thanks to Dan Ciske for the photo of a boat fire off Bainbridge Island, visible from this side of the Sound. Here’s what the Bainbridge Island Fire Department says via Twitter:

A Seattle Fire Department fireboat is assisting, per the SFD 911 log and

UPDATE: Death investigation after RV fire in SODO

10:09 AM: A few people have asked about the report of a person found dead after a fire under the east end of the West Seattle Bridge in SODO early today. Here’s the Seattle Fire Department news release sent to us and other media:

On Thursday, January 5, 2016, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the Seattle Fire Department responded to reports of a motor-home fire at the intersection of 1st Avenue S and S Spokane Street [map] after receiving notification from the Port of Seattle Police Department.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke under the [Spokane Street] viaduct and immediately began firefighting efforts. During the search, firefighters located a deceased adult inside the vehicle. A secondary search concluded there were no additional occupants and the fire was under control by 3:29 a.m.

Fire Investigation Unit members are currently investigating the cause and estimated damages for this incident. Seattle Police Department were also on scene.

This is outside the Southwest Precinct‘s jurisdiction; we’re checking with SPD media relations for any additional information on the death investigation.

10:39 AM: Just went to the spot where this happened; it is just east of the 1st/Spokane intersection. The RV (shown in a Seattle Times photo here) has already been towed, leaving behind only some debris and broken glass.

FRIDAY NOTE: The Medical Examiner’s list of cases for today includes what is apparently this one, an SPD-investigated death that has been ruled accidental, the result of smoke inhalation. The victim was identified as 37-year-old Daniel Jackson.

MISSING TEEN UPDATE: Josiah ‘located in Portland’

9 PM: Thanks to the readers who shared information that the missing boy has been found, including this note from Aviation High School‘s principal:

I am happy to report that Josiah Hokanson has been located in Portland, OR and safely reunited with his family. I know we are all very relieved that he has been found. As a parent, I can only imagine what the family was going through these past few days.

Thank you to everyone who prayed, pitched in, and helped in any small way. I know the family has appreciated everyone’s efforts. Parents and students, hug each other tonight – no moment is too small to take advantage of.

EARLIER – 9:47 AM: Read More

About the police search at the east end of the West Seattle Bridge

September 9, 2016 5:55 pm
|    Comments Off on About the police search at the east end of the West Seattle Bridge
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | West Seattle news


Thanks for the texted photo and tips. When we started hearing about a police presence at the east end of the West Seattle Bridge an hour or so ago, WSDOT would only describe it as “an incident” and said the ramp had cleared. Then scanner traffic indicated searching was continuing/had resumed. The Guardian One helicopter was involved for a while and described it as an SPD search for a possibly armed person. From what we’ve heard most recently, the officers were also looking at the hillsides by the I-5/Columbian/WS Bridge interchange. No word if anyone is in custody yet.

‘In case you wondered too’ #1: The smoke is from SeaTac

July 29, 2016 7:58 pm
|    Comments Off on ‘In case you wondered too’ #1: The smoke is from SeaTac
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | West Seattle news

7:58 PM: Getting some questions about the dark smoke to the south – thanks to Aaron for being the first person to point it out, visible from the Southwest Athletic Complex where we’re still covering Band Jam: It’s a residential fire in SeaTac, in the 20400 block of International Boulevard.

8:19 PM: Now a 2-alarm fire, per fire agencies in the area. Reported to be at a mobile-home park.

UPDATE: City Light says it’s restored power to downtown Seattle after big outage

11:51 AM: In case you are heading downtown sometime soon – you should know about a big power outage in the heart of downtown. It’s not even on the Seattle City Light map, but they’re definitely aware of it. SCL attributes it to “equipment failure at Massachusetts Street Substation” and says it might take “a couple hours” to fix. We know lots of West Seattleites work downtown – is this affecting you?

12:07 PM: Someone in comments asked if there are any West Seattle effects; not that we have heard. The substation mentioned by SCL is in SODO (shown on this map). Meantime, they’ve moved up the guesstimate for restoration to 12:40 pm.

12:17 PM: While this mega-outage is NOT shown on the Seattle City Light map, SDOT has come up with one based on the boundaries that have been announced:

12:20 PM: We’re listening to officers downtown via scanner, as they assist with traffic control downtown, and they’re saying some intersections have power back – a couple mentioned on 5th – but a few blocks away, they’re still out. Also, Councilmember Kshama Sawant – who chairs the council committee that oversees SCL – tweeted that City Hall (5th/Cherry/4th/James) has power back.

12:26 PM: More restoration – SPD channel indicates lights on 3rd are working.

12:34 PM: SCL has officially declared power back on (while saying they don’t know yet what caused it). West Seattleites in the city’s Municipal Tower and the county’s Chinook Building – not far apart – confirm they’re back on. But downtown will likely have lingering effects throughout the afternoon.

12:48 PM: City Light says it doesn’t know yet how many customers (businesses/homes, in this case apartments/condos) were affected, but “12,000 meters” were in the outage zone.

Did you see it? Last flight of first Boeing 727


Today’s theme seems to be history. Here’s some aviation history, which you might have seen in the sky a few hours ago. In case you didn’t, thanks to Doug Branch for sharing photos of the first Boeing 727’s last flight, as it ended this morning at nearby Boeing Field (mentioned in our daily preview). He says it appeared to fly low over Elliott Bay as it came in, so it might have turned some West Seattleites’ heads.


United donated this half-century-old jet to the Museum of Flight 25 years ago – it’s been undergoing restoration so it can join the museum’s collection. Read more about it on the MoF website (which explains it’ll be in the Airpark throughout the summer, then moving to the museum’s new Aviation Pavilion).

Meantime, you can see Doug’s photos directly on Flickr – also shared in the WSB group there, here and here.

OPEN AGAIN: Highway 99 reopens, 12 hours after deadly crash

The bus and “Duck” involved in the deadly Aurora Bridge collision 12 hours ago have both just been towed away, and Highway 99 has reopened both ways, SDOT just announced. The investigation into the crash that killed 4 college students will continue Friday with the arrival of a National Transportation Safety Board team.

HIGHWAY 99 TRAFFIC ALERT: Road closure, bus reroutes continue after 4 killed in 4-vehicle crash on Aurora Bridge

(SCROLL DOWN for the newest information)

11:28 AM: A collision with major injuries reported has blocked the Aurora Bridge both ways. It’s reported to involve a Ride The Ducks vehicle and a bus. That’s likely to be a relatively long-lasting closure so if you use Highway 99, plan an alternate route.

11:55 AM: SFD says two people are dead, nine critically injured, and they are still evaluating people.

12:42 PM: The city says the traffic effects are likely to last into the evening. The mayor and police chief will be speaking at the scene shortly.
12:49 PM: The mayor, at the news conference happening now, confirms they expect the closure to continue into the evening. Fire Chief Harold Scoggins says 4 people died at the scene and 12 are critically injured; the crash involved not only a charter bus and a Ride The Ducks vehicle but also two cars.

(Added: Seattle Fire Department photo)
1:41 PM: Short updates are now online via SPD Blotter and SFD Fireline (looks like the same info). Because of the transportation effects, we will keep this story pinned atop the WSB home page TFN, but as we publish other, unrelated stories (starting soon), they’ll appear beneath it, so from the home page, just scroll down to see what else is happening.

2:44 PM: Some miscellaneous information that’s also being discussed in comments:
METRO REROUTES: Latest list is here
BLOOD DONATIONS: Bloodworks NW says because of so many injuries in this incident, it needs more – go here to find out how to donate

3:31 PM: Still closed, NB from the Western exit, and SB, according to commenter “Cadburry,” reopens just south of the Aurora Bridge. Meanwhile, SPD has issued a short update on its investigation.

5:22 PM: No change in the situation – Aurora Bridge still closed, with Highway 99 closure NB at Western; SB, we’re told you CAN get on starting around lower Queen Anne, south of the bridge. Also, some more bus reroutes – updated info here. And while this is NOT related to the crash, we just got word that the cycles on the signal at 35th/Alaska are apparently running too short and causing a backup on southbound 35th there – we flagged SDOT via Twitter and they say engineers are looking into it.

5:34 PM: SDOT says that’s fixed now; our crew just arrived and verifies that it seems to be OK, no notable backup.

5:50 PM: Briefing expected shortly from the mayor – you can watch live here. Meantime, in another non-related traffic update, a crash is reported at Fauntleroy/Hudson; traffic’s getting by, says our tipster, but barely.

6:05 PM: The briefing is under way, with the mayor, fire chief, police chief. The Aurora Bridge might remain closed until sometime tomorrow, the mayor said. No change in the number of deaths; 15 people are in critical condition. “Too early … to draw any conclusions” about crash’s cause, says Police Chief O’Toole. They’ve set up a hotline for witnesses: 206-233-5000. SDOT director Scott Kubly explains that once the investigators are done, there will be cleanup and bridge inspections among other things before 99 can reopen.

8:28 PM: The closure continues. We’ll shortly remove this from its position stuck atop the WSB home page, and will publish a new story if there’s a change this evening. We’ll of course have traffic/transit coverage first thing in the morning as usual, too.

11:17 PM: The southbound lanes of 99 have reopened, right after the bus and “Duck” were towed. Awaiting word on the northbound lanes.

TONIGHT: How community can be key, in case of catastrophe

August 27, 2015 9:02 am
|    Comments Off on TONIGHT: How community can be key, in case of catastrophe
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | Preparedness | West Seattle news

Know where your nearest Emergency Communication Hub is? Know WHAT your Emergency Communication Hub is? West Seattle has long been a citywide leader in this aspect of preparedness, via West Seattle Be Prepared. And they’re sharing news of a presentation downtown tonight that might interest you. Usually we can only promote on-peninsula events, but preparedness has been a signature issue for us for a long time, and at the heart of this presentation is the reminder that community can be key in case of catastrophe:

Join the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs and Seattle Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Tom Richardson, one of the Urban Search and Rescue Team Leaders (USAR) at the SR 530 slide, who will share his experience during the response and recovery stages and his thoughts on how communities are key in disasters.

6:30 pm – (Optional) Overview of the Seattle Emergency Hubs
7:00 pm – Program start
8:00 pm – Q & A and discussion

Location: City of Seattle Emergency Operations Center, 105 5th Ave S. (Corner of 5th Ave S and S Washington St)

Please RSVP at, or 206-233-5076

If you heard the music but couldn’t figure out the source…

In the past couple hours, we started getting questions about music/beats audible in north West Seattle for hours – maybe from the beach. Nothing on the calendar; we finally went down to look, nothing in view, but from the Seacrest vicinity, we could hear the beats in the distance. The answer finally came when we put out the open question on Twitter: @SDOT and @romabit pointed out the Dirtybird BBQ concert event in SODO, which had been under way since early afternoon. Just in case you wondered too … now you know.

That smoke plume to the south: Tacoma marina fire

June 20, 2015 5:51 pm
|    Comments Off on That smoke plume to the south: Tacoma marina fire
 |   Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway | West Seattle news

(Photo taken from southwest West Seattle, by Chris Frankovich)
Maybe you saw the big smoke plume to the south this past hour – we’ve received multiple calls/messages about it. It’s a marina fire in the Tacoma Narrows area – here’s what The News-Tribune is reporting so far. It was so visible from the U.S. Open golf tournament course, we’re told it was mentioned during the broadcast. According to a Pierce County tweet, the fire is at a repair facility.

Seattle May Day: If you’re wondering about demonstration status…

4:03 PM: Just wanted to mention it in case you’re about to head home or to downtown and are wondering what’s going on: Demonstrators have been marching much of the afternoon but no problems have been reported. Seattle Police are tweeting locations and, when applicable, traffic effects; the best place to monitor is the SPD Twitter account (you don’t have to be a Twitter member to see it) – SDOT is tweeting traffic updates, too.

7:33 PM UPDATE: Now there’s trouble, with what the SPD tweets described as the “unplanned” demonstration. Rock-throwing and window-breaking is reported. They’re facing off with police on Capitol Hill, who have issued a “dispersal order.” As the commute period is over, we’re moving on with other news, but the same links above still apply, as do all the citywide news orgs, and our friends at are tweeting, too:

9:43 PM: The city Emergency Operations Center has issued two statements from the mayor – this, just a few minutes ago:

Seattle celebrates free speech, the right to assemble and freedom of the press. People are raising their voices across the nation, working constructively to advance issues of racial equity and justice in our society. During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of social change. The City of Seattle prepared extensively to protect the rights of peaceful protesters to express their anger at racism and injustice.

What erupted tonight is a very different story. Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated. Those who are violent will be arrested. We will work to disperse groups that are threatening the safety of our residents and businesses.

Traffic-alert update: 99 reopens after protest-related closure

3:37 PM: If you are heading toward downtown any time in the next half-hour or so, either northbound or southbound, note that Highway 99 and I-5 are both being affected by protests right now. We’re still trying to get a clear picture of what’s going on by monitoring scanner and Twitter, but we do know for sure that Highway 99 northbound is closed at the Battery Street Tunnel, with traffic being diverted off at Western. More to come.

3:44 PM: Seattle Times (WSB partner) photojournalist Lindsey Wasson is among the journalists on scene:

KING 5 reports protesters on Mercer near I-5. Via scanner, police are concerned about protesters getting onto Aurora. Journalists who are tweeting in the area confirm there are two separate groups.

4 PM: This is truly a fast-changing situation, but again, right now, avoiding downtown, especially the South Lake Union vicinity, is fairly solid advice. And 99.

4:21 PM: Police are hoping to be able to reopen 99 soon but the situation remains in flux, especially in the South Lake Union area.

4:23 PM: Per scanner, 99 has just been reopened. The I-5 ramps that were affected by the protest are open again too. But some protesters are still in action on surface streets, police are saying, on Fairview and on Dexter.

Update: Suspect arrested after Vashon search that led to King County SO sightings in Fauntleroy

fWe’ve been asked about King County Sheriff’s Office sightings at the Fauntleroy ferry dock tonight – not unusual for KCSO personnel to take the ferry, since theirs is the law-enforcement agency for Vashon Island, but the numbers are out of the ordinary. It’s related to a search that is still under way on the island, seeking a driver who rammed the patrol car of a deputy who subsequently opened fire, according to tweets from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates.

No injuries known/reported at this point, and there’s no indication the suspect has left the island, but the search, which has included the Guardian One helicopter, continues.

8:55 AM UPDATE: Thanks to Michael and Maggie for noting in comments that KCSO reports the suspect is in custody. (added) Here’s the news release from Sgt. Gates:

Just before 6 PM on Saturday January 3rd, deputies responded to a residence for a domestic violence call between a mother and her adult son. Shortly after this first call we received several more from other citizens reporting different incidents with the same male as from the domestic violence case. These calls included a road rage incident, threats, and a vandalism.

At 6:45 PM a deputy located the suspect in the above incidents driving his pickup and there was a short pursuit . The suspect refused to stop and instead rammed the patrol car several times. In the 9800 block of SW Windmill Road the deputy fired several shots, but the suspect was not hit. The patrol car was disabled from the ramming and the suspect fled in his pickup.

Resident deputies that live on the island were called out to assist in the search for the suspect and patrol resources from the Burien and White Center areas also were sent to the island.

This morning around 4:30 the suspect was located by patrol deputies in the 24600 block of Dockton Road SW where he had broken into an unoccupied house. He attempted to run on foot, a Taser was deployed, and he was taken into custody.

There were no injuries to anyone and detectives are investigating the deputy-involved shooting as well as the other crimes committed by the suspect. The deputy who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave per our policy.

The suspect will be booked into King County Jail for investigation of felony assault, attempting to elude, and burglary.

Almost-West Seattle scene: Last sign of the Sears sign

11:28 AM: Thanks to Bill Schrier for spotting and sharing this while visiting SODO – the sign for the shuttered, historic Sears store is coming down. “Kind of a nostalgic end of a historic brand in SODO for the last day of 2014,” he observes. We noted the store’s closure announcement last February, primarily because it meant the Rotary Club of West Seattle would have to find someplace new for its annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree. (Ultimately, it moved to the Sears store at Southcenter.) As for the fate of the sign and the question of whether anyone’s leased the space yet – we don’t know but are trying to find out. (This might suggest the answer to the latter, at least, is “no.”)

ADDED 12:44 PM: According to the company that owns the building, no new tenant yet, as the Sears lease runs another year.

Haggen acquiring some Safeway and Albertsons stores, but none in West Seattle

You might recall that the Albertsons/Safeway deal was expected to result in some stores being shed. Today, the Haggen chain announced it would pick up more than 100 Albertsons and Safeway stores in the West, expanding its holdings from 18 stores to 164. We asked Haggen for the full list, to see if any are in West Seattle/White Center. Answer: No; the two closest stores that will become Haggen stores are south of West Seattle/White Center – the two Albertsons in Burien, 12725 1st Ave. S. and 15840 1st Ave. S.