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5 things to know Thursday

Flood infrastructure; Proposed robocall bill; U of I murders lawsuit; King County drug bust; Fencing popularity


Federal project needed to keep Duwamish River from overtopping, utility says

Mayor Bruce Harrell and City of Seattle officials said work is underway to assist people impacted by the flooding in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood that was prompted by Tuesday’s king tide, but efforts must also be made long-term to mitigate future incidents.

The city is working on several infrastructure projects that may reduce the duration and impact of flooding, but Seattle Public Utilities says a federal project is likely needed to prevent the Duwamish River from overtopping.

“This really exposes the need for an urban flooding team, task force, organization to be ready for these things until we build climate resiliency into our infrastructure,”  Duwamish River Community Coalition spokesperson Christian Poulsen said.

Seattle Public Utilities says several investments are already underway, including efforts to widen pipes in the area, complete a sump pump station, and improve the quality of water that enters the Duwamish River. Read more

Washington bill would ban robocallers from using fake caller ID, tapping Do Not Call Registry

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants lawmakers to address spam robocalls in the upcoming legislative session.

Ferguson has partnered with State Rep. Mari Leavitt of University Place to introduce the Robocall Scam Protection Act. The bill would strengthen legal protections against the calls, including prohibiting contact to anyone on the federal Do Not Call Registry.

The bill would also ban robocallers from using fake caller ID information and allow civil lawsuits against phone providers who knowingly allow spam robocalls. 

According to AARP State Director Marguerite Ro, a 2019 survey on robocalls showed that 60% of Washington adults are more likely to answer if the caller ID shows a number with their area code. Read more

Moscow police don't believe professor who sued TikToker was involved in murders

A University of Idaho professor has sued a TikTok sleuth who accused her in the November killings of four students.

Attorneys for Rebecca Scofield, an associate professor and chair of the history department at the University of Idaho, filed a lawsuit Dec. 21 claiming Ashley Guillard defamed Scofield. Guillard, a Texas-based TikTok personality, posted videos claiming Scofield participated in the killings because she was romantically involved with one of the victims.

Scofield’s attorneys deny that Scofield was in a romantic relationship with the victims and say she never even met them.

“The statements made about Professor Scofield are false, plain and simple,” Wendy Olson, Scofield’s attorney, said in a statement.

The Moscow Police Department said Tuesday that it does not believe Scofield was involved in the crime. Read more

Massive drug bust slows influx of drugs in King County, sergeant says

The King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) has concluded a huge drug bust, which they said put a dent in the supply of fentanyl on the streets.

Ford said 12 suspects were arrested Dec. 21 spanning from Snohomish County down to Pierce County as part of the bust. 

“Ultimately this slows down the influx of drugs and controlled substances of this nature into our region,” said Ford.

Four hundred pounds of methamphetamine, 478,000 fentanyl pills and more than $500,000 in cash were seized during the operation, among other drugs and weapons, according to Ford. 

Fentanyl was involved in 70% of King County overdose deaths this past year, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County. Read more

Coach at world-renowned fencing academy in Redmond sees rise in the sport's popularity

Kaizen Fencing Academy in Redmond is on guard for more students as the popularity of the sport is rapidly increasing. 

The academy has seen steady growth over the past three years but the latest popular Netflix series, "Wednesday" has added some pop culture relevance.

The series based on “The Addams Family” featured a fierce fencing match and suddenly the sport skyrocketed in the search engines. 

“People call up and wanna do what Wednesday does…we can do that!” Coach Kevin Mar laughed.  

He says his students range from kids just dabbling to young athletes who have Olympic dreams.

The academy says the “Wednesday effect” has built quite a buzz and they’re excited to introduce more people to the sport.  

“We have a trial class so just come have fun and try something new,” Mar said. Read more

RELATED: Western Washington Forecast

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