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5 things to know this Friday

Paid family leave deficit; Supreme court transit fare case; Understaffing at children's center; Hit-and-run suspect in court; Seattle businesses without internet.

Washington's paid family leave program running short on cash

Washington state’s paid family leave program could hit a deficit as early as March, and there are concerns about long-term solvency following a significant increase in demand for the benefit that launched in 2020.

On Thursday, Gov. Jay Inslee said he was "confident" legislators would come up with a way to fix the problem.

Since the start of the program, the Employment Security Department has processed more than 365,000 individual applications and has paid out more than 2.2 million weekly claims. Read more

Case concerning proof of bus fare to be heard by Washington state Supreme Court

A case concerning whether or not police are allowed to stop bus or train passengers and ask for proof of fare is heading to the Washington state Supreme Court.

The case resulted from a 2018 incident where a Snohomish County man on a Community Transit bus was asked for proof of payment by police during a routine check.

Because he had been stopped and technically "seized" by police, his attorney says it violated his right against illegal search and seizure. Read more

Worker alleges understaffing led to detainees’ escape in Snoqualmie

A defensive Washington Gov. Jay Inslee suggested people shouldn't jump to any conclusions after a group of teens escaped from a Snoqualmie correctional facility, including a convicted murderer.

On Thursday, Inslee was asked for a response about the incident at the Echo Glen Children's Center, in which police said five teens assaulted staff, stole keys and drove away in a state-owned fleet vehicle.

One of the teens, a 15-year-old considered the highest risk to public safety, was taken into custody at 1:30 a.m. in Kent. Two other juvenile suspects were taken into custody in Kent and Kirkland Thursday afternoon. Read more

Fatal Midland hit-and-run suspect held on $1 million bond

A Superior Court Commissioner signed off on prosecutors' request to hold Terry Matthew James Kohl on a $1 million bond, Thursday. 

Kohl is accused of hitting two 12-year-old girls, Kathleen Olsen and Immaculee Goldade, while driving a stolen truck on Jan. 15 as the pair were walking to Goldade’s Midland home. Immaculee died from her injuries. Read more

Seattle businesses lose internet after vandals target copper, fiber wires

Damaged copper and fiber wires under the Magnolia Bridge that caused internet and phone service issues for around 1,300 customers could still take days to weeks to fix, a spokesperson for Lumen Technologies said Thursday.

The company said someone stole and vandalized wire on Jan. 20, and once repairs were complete, hit the site again.

Lumen Technologies said repairs are taking longer than normal due to the extent of the damage. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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