2021 was the deadliest on Washington roads in 15 years

As Washington went quiet in the early days of the pandemic, Staci Hoff figured at least it would mean fewer deaths on the roads in 2020. She was wrong.

Then, as cars began returning in 2021, she hoped maybe the carnage would slow as congestion increased and speeds decreased. She was wrong again.

Washington ended 2021 with more fatal and serious car crashes than it’s seen in 15 years. On the heels of an especially deadly 2020, the continued rise is a frustrating and increasingly confounding trend that’s playing out nationwide. Experts can’t point to a single reason.

“We have talked 2020 to death, but it is the end of 2021 and this was way worse,” said Hoff, research director for the Washington Traffic Safety

Catholic church pays $2 million to settle local priest sexual abuse cases

The Archdiocese of Seattle has reached over $2 million in settlements in the past six months due to credible allegations of sexual abuse by four Catholic priests in Western Washington, including two former leaders of a parish in Snohomish and one in Everett.

The Rev. Michael C. OBrien led St. Michael Parish from 1974 to 1979.

He was succeeded by the Rev. Dennis Champagne from 1979 to 1999, who then became the priest of St. John Bosco Church in Lakewood. Church leaders put Champagne on leave in 2002, after someone accused him of sexual misconduct.

OBrien was also accused of “a credible complaint of sexual abuse,” and he was defrocked in 2010.

Both men had been flagged as potential abusers for decades but continued to

Former HR Director wins lawsuit against city, awarded more than $1 million in damages

Former City of Edmonds Human Resources Director Debi Humann was greeted by hugs and smiles from family outside the downtown Seattle federal courtroom Friday afternoon after a 10-person jury unanimously awarded her more than $1 million in her civil suit against the City of Edmonds and former Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper.

“It’s been three long difficult years for my family, for me and for the law firm,” a tearful Humann said. “I’m just glad it’s over and I’m really hoping that this clears my name, which is what I wanted.”

Humann’s boyfriend of five years, Bob Uptagrafft, and her daughter Jen, were all smiles after the verdict, and gave Humann large hugs after she left the courtroom.

“Now we can get our lives back,” Uptagrafft

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