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SEATTLE — A new financial analysis of Washington's prepaid tuition program says the Guaranteed Education Tuition program has improved its financial stability and should be able to take cover all its obligations many years into the future. The report from State Actuary Matt Smith says he expects the program will return to fully funded status by 2018. By Donna Gordon Blankinship. SENT: 550 words.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and federal banking regulators will help clear the way for financial institutions to transact business with the legitimate marijuana industry without fear of prosecution, Deputy Attorney General James Cole has told Congress. The issue has taken on greater urgency now that Colorado and Washington have become the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. By Pete Yost. SENT: 620 words.
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Alaska Airlines officials plan to provide warm boarding for Fairbanks customers when the company makes the switch from jets to turboprop aircraft on flights to Anchorage. Starting in March, Alaska Airlines will fly 76-seat Bombardier Q400s on most routes between Fairbanks and Anchorage. SENT: 410 words.
DRAG RACING STAR
EVERETT — Alan Bockla used to put on fireproof underwear and blast down racetracks at record speeds. Handsome, fearless and a bit of a showoff, he was drag racing's "King of the Rockies." Popping wheelies in his hot rod was his trademark, driving crowds wild. AP Member Exchange by Andrea Brown, The Daily Herald. SENT: 1,600 words. Photos.
WASHINGTON BOOK AWARDS
SEATTLE — Six books have been selected for this year's Washington State Book Awards. The 2013 winners include a novel set in early 20th-century Wenatchee; poetry by Washington state's poet laureate, inspired by growing up near Hanford; a biography of Seattle photographer Edward Curtis; and an exploration of the relationship between the science of geology and the story of Noah's flood. AP Member Exchange by Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times. SENT: 500 words.
SPOKANE — Washington State's rare victory at Southern California last weekend may be huge in the eyes of fans but coach Mike Leach says his focus has shifted to playing Southern Utah. Leach was asked if last weekend's 10-7 win at USC was the high point of his coaching career at Washington State so far. He said the high point is always the next game on the schedule. By Nicholas K. Geranios. SENT: 420 words. AP Photo LAC115.
SEATTLE — Jonathan Villar homered on the first pitch of the game and the Houston Astros coasted to a 13-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. SENT: 330 words. Photos.
BALTIMORE — In a sign that Derek Jeter might not be back anytime soon, the New York Yankees obtained slick-fielding shortstop Brendan Ryan from the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night for a player to be named. SENT: 200 words.
SEATTLE — The Minnesota Lynx are getting familiar with winning Western Conference titles. Maya Moore scored 20 points and Lindsay Whalen added 19 to help the Lynx clinch their third consecutive Western Conference title with a 73-60 victory over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday night. SENT: 620 words. Photos.
— BOY-BIKINI BARISTA HEIST — Boy, 12, charged with robbery in Everett bikini barista holdup.
— KENT SHOOTING — Police: man seriously wounded in shooting in fast-food restaurant parking lot in Kent.
— RIVER BODY IDENTIFIED — Body found in Columbia River was Vancouver man; disappeared while swimming.
— FATAL SKATEBOARD ACCIDENT — Brier man, 19, dies of injuries from skateboarding accident.
— WALLAROO BACK HOME — Wallaroo missing nearly a month near Spokane is back home; found in blueberry patch.
— LEAPING INTRUDER — Seattle intruder leaps from upstairs window, gets arrested when she lands.
— WASHINGTON-FOOD LABELING — Washington food labeling fight intensifies with cash from Monsanto, others.
— CAR CRASH-FIRE — Seattle police say runaway truck hits 4 vehicles on downtown street, several burn; minor injuries.
— INITIATIVES-ELWAY POLL — Elway poll: Support for initiatives requiring food labels, protection for signature gatherers.
— GIG HARBOR VEHICULAR HOMICIDE — Gig Harbor man pleads guilty in drunken driving crash that killed 9-year-old nephew.
— WOMAN OVERBOARD — Coast Guard: Woman rescued after jumping off Seattle-bound ferry.
— SEAHAWKS MILITARY — Seahawks renew ties with Lewis-McChord.
— INSLEE-RESULTS WASHINGTON — Inslee unveils government performance plan.
— SEATTLE SHOOTING — Man shot outside north Seattle apartment.
— OWL VS OWL — Feds give final approval to owl-killing experiment.
— TUMWATER OFFICER ASSAULTED — Suspect hits Tumwater officer with hammer.
— GATES FOUNDATION-RAIKES — CEO Jeff Raikes retiring from Gates Foundation.