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5 things you need to know this weekend

Tacoma officers arraigned; A study on the Salish Sea; Seattle Clipper back in service; Memorial Day camping full; Holiday water safety.

SEATTLE —

3 Tacoma officers charged in the death of Manuel Ellis plead not guilty

All three Tacoma police officers charged in the death of Manuel Ellis plead not guilty to charges in Pierce County Superior Court Friday.

Ellis, a 33-year-old Black man, died in handcuffs while being restrained by Tacoma police on March 3, 2020.

Christopher Burbank and Matthew Collins are charged with second-degree murder, and Timothy Rankine is charged with first-degree manslaughter. A Pierce County judge set Burbank, Collins and Rankine’s bail for $100,000, respectively. All three officers posted bail and were released Friday afternoon.  Read more

The Salish Sea is in trouble, Washington researchers say

Researchers at Western Washington University's Salish Sea Institute just released a 275-page report outlining the health of the Salish Sea ecosystem and the stressors it faces. 

Researchers say the Salish Sea faces "unrelenting pressure" from 150 years of human development. As western Washington grows, so too does the negative impact on our waters.

Ginny Broadhurst, the director of the Salish Sea Institute, says although the cost of preserving the Salish Sea may be high, the cost of inaction could be much higher. Read more

The Seattle Clipper is back in service for the first time since the pandemic began

The Clipper is back, and so are visitors to the San Juan Islands.

To kick off Memorial Day weekend, the San Juan Clipper set sail for Friday Harbor for the first time in 15 months.

"We feel like it's a whole new fresh start," said Clipper Captain Jason Mihok, as he led the vessel out of Pier 69 on Friday. "There were a lot of unknowns for us. We were one of the first businesses to shut down and we're one of the last ones to start up, so a long wait." Read more

Washington State Parks brace for a busy Memorial Day weekend with eased COVID restrictions

Washington state parks are expecting a busy Memorial Day weekend, as many return to summer travel under loosening pandemic restrictions, and with nice weather on deck for western Washington.

Parks officials said Friday that people should not expect to be able to get a last-minute camping spot for the weekend, and warned people to also have a backup plan when visiting popular day-use sites. Though specific usage numbers weren't available, the online reservations tool returned few available sites statewide.

Washington State Parks chalk the surge up to the first holiday weekend with eased restrictions. Read more

Rescue crews urge water, boating safety this Memorial Day weekend

The long Memorial Day weekend paired with warmer weather means rescue crews are anticipating being busy on Washington’s waterways.

Washington State Parks is reporting an increase in new people boating and paddling. 

"The holiday weekends tend to bring out people who aren't coming out into the wilderness every weekend,” said Deputy Benjamin Callahan, with King County's Marine Rescue Dive Unit. "Those tend to be the folks who find themselves in situations that they haven't planned for." Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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