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Help Wanted: Metro Transit hiring hundreds of new drivers








The help wanted sign is out at Metro, as the transit agency races to hire hundreds of new drivers to help handle expanded service approved by Seattle voters.

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Classrooms at Metro’s operations center in Tukwila are bursting at the seams with dozens of prospective new drivers undergoing the month-long training. Those that pass will then be hired as part-time drivers.


“Starting in June, we will be increasing the level of service provided in Seattle. We’re also looking to add additional services in King County so we need more drivers,” said Carri Brezonick Metro’s superintendent of operations training.


The training is two-fold — teaching drivers how to handle one of those 40- or 60-foot buses is just one half of the equation.


The other half is customer service — dealing with people from all walks of life and anything that might come up.


“A bus driver is out on the road alone and they need to be great problem solvers. They need to be resourceful and calm and cool and level-headed and focused on the safety of their customers and others around them as well as others around them,” Brezonick said.


Jay Sharma is a recent graduate and has been driving one of those big articulated buses for the past month.

“It did take a while but now I know how to drive,” Sharma said. “It was a little bit challenging.”


He admits he ran over a few cones during training, but since he’s been out on the streets, it’s been pretty smooth sailing — although a truck did clip his bus and take out his mirror.

The biggest difficulty was actually figuring out which stops are his.


“Because sometimes when I see people on the sidewalk I feel like I need to stop. So now I know where to stop, where the bus stops,” he said.


Sitting with Sharma and fellow rookie Chuck Anderson, both agree that navigating some of Seattle’s narrow streets took some getting used to. Not to mention crowded roads and impatient drivers.


“There are a lot of good people out there who, if you put your blinker on, they’ll stop,” Anderson said. “But you think of it when you’re in your personal car. How many times are you on the freeway, you put your blinker on and the guy zooms up to try and get in there. It’s the same with the bus. You have good people and bad people out there.”


That’s the case with passengers as well. Both Sharma and Anderson said most are pretty pleasant. But they’ve been well-trained to deal with potential problems, just in case.


“One thing is allow them to escape, open the doors and let them leave if they want to leave,” Anderson said. “But also to contact our coordinators, so that if we need to have police involvement, they can get the police there quickly. Our training was really good in that we are not to handle it. You want to be safe and you want your passengers to be safe.”


Although Metro is hiring hundreds of new drivers, the agency is extremely selective. Those that do get the training program receive $11.61 an hour for the 33-day training. Those that make it are hired for part-time positions paying $21.15 an hour plus benefits.


The biggest attribute you need? Brezonick said anyone can learn to drive a bus, but not everyone can deal with all the other demands.


“We can give you better tools through the training process, but we really are looking for individuals who are interested in engaging with the public because that’s what we do here,” she said.


You can learn more and apply here.




Drive part time for Metro.
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Want more flexibility than a full-time job can offer? Going to school and to work? Working part time and need more hours?

Working part time as a Metro Transit bus driver is ideal for anyone who wants part-time work without weekend or late-night hours, such as students, artists, and people juggling family responsibilities. Part-time drivers enjoy flexible schedules and good pay and benefits. Plus, they know they are performing a valuable service for their community. Being a part-time bus driver for Metro is part-time work that pays off!

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Drive a bus for Community Transit. Be someone’s connection to work, family and life.
We’ve just increased wages for our Coach Operators! Effective January 1, 2015:

Starting at                    Earn up to
$47,029                         $61,027

($22.61/hr)                    ($29.34/hr)

Get Paid While You Learn


Paid training at $19.22/hour (Effective January 1, 2015) includes excellent medical, dental and vision benefits for the entire family. Commercial Driver’s License training provided. See the full list of benefits here.


Before you begin, check out these tips for a successful application. The easiest way to apply is to use our online application.



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Submit an application. We use (NeoGov) for online applications.

When you get to the application page, you can either create a new account or log-in if you’ve used the system before. Once you create an online account, you can apply for other jobs at Community Transit, as well as other government agencies using

While we prefer you apply online, a paper application can be mailed to you by calling (425) 348-7100.


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Snohomish storm chaser gets 1-in-a-million shot of tornado, rainbow

By Scott Sistek Published: May 11, 2015 at 12:44 PM PDT Last Updated: May 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM PDT


Tornado and rainbow during storm near Wiley, Colorado on May 8, 2015. (Photo: Benjamin Jurkovich)

Not sure I’ve ever seen a photograph that captures the beauty and power of weather in one singular shot.


Snohomish’s Benjamin Jurkovich, part of the JWSevere Weather Chasing Team has been out storm chasing in the Midwest for the past few weeks and he’s had his share of twisters, super cells, and other images that define Tornado Alley in the spring.
But this one he got near Wiley, Colorado Saturday afternoon might be the most unique in his portfolio — a tornado at the same time as a rainbow.

“It was pretty darn awesome!” he said.
Jurkovich said most of his storm chases have been in the dusty Midwest as it hadn’t rained much, but the night before this photograph, that portion of Colorado had heavy rains, helping to clear the air for this spectacular shot.
Here is his full 12 minute video showing the spectacular tornado and rainbow:

It’s just one of many tornadoes Ben has found during his two week jaunt.

He’s been lucky so far in not having too many close calls – the one exception was while chasing a storm near Hayes, Kansas, another area of rotation began to develop to their southwest moving northeast:

They had to use a series of remote, dirt roads to escape and when they looked back, they found a low, “ground scraping” wall cloud rotating right over where they just were. No confirmed tornado there, but a dangerous spot to be in.

His favorite story though comes from Texas. He said someone followed him on Twitter from Texas Friday morning just out of the blue and later that day, there was a large supercell thunderstorm with rotation that was heading for the small town of Throckmorton in Texas. Jurkovich’s team was on the northwest side of that town and could see the storm begin to spin and an ominous wall cloud begin to emerge as it headed right for them. A tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service, but Jurkovich noted no tornado sirens were going off in town. They contacted the sheriff’s office and moments later, the sirens went off.

A tornado did eventually form, but managed to just miss town by about a quarter mile.
After Ben Tweeted some of the videos and photos from the storm, he got a note from his newest Texas follower — it turns out Ben had been storm chasing right near his ranch, which was close to the spot of the tornado. ” ‘You kept my family safe today,’ ” Ben said the Tweet read. “That’s why I chase,” Ben said.

The man offered that if Ben was ever back in the area, to come by his cattle ranch and he’d fix him a nice steak. Ben said he just might be heading back to that part of Texas this week to meet up with him.
In all, Ben has put 9,000 miles on his car chasing around the Midwest. (I joked with him he’s probably the only storm chaser out there with Washington license plates!) He’s coming back home later this week, but I suspect it won’t be too long before he’s out there again.

In the meantime, Ben says he’s going to work on “storm chasing” on the West Coast, live streaming some of our infamous wind storms from the coast during the fall and winter. Maybe show off to the rest of the world that while the Northwest doesn’t have the supercell thunderstorms, we do have our own stormy weather to deal with. His team is also raising money to help severe weather warning efforts for small towns in Tornado Alley.

UPDATE: Make that “2 in a million” shot!
Turns out, Ben wasn’t the only Washington storm chaser who was at that storm in Colorado! Michael Snyder of Normandy Park was also there — apparently just down a dirt road a bit from Ben — and captured a similar photo:


(Photo courtesy: Michael Snyder)

Snyder said he saw a total of four tornadoes in the same storm. Great photo! And… still can’t get my mind around the odds two Washington storm chasers would end up at nearly the same spot to get this amazing photo!

Dog Infects Humans With Plague for First Time in US

Apr 30, 2015, 6:34 PM ET



A plague-infected dog spread the dangerous disease to four Colorado residents, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials told ABC News that this the first report of a dog infecting a human with the plague in the U.S.

The dog, a 2-year-old American pit bull terrier, became sick last summer with a fever and jaw rigidity, among other symptoms. The dog’s health declined so quickly that it was euthanized the following day at a local vet’s office, health officials said.

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Four days later, the dog’s owner entered the hospital with a fever and a bloody cough that became worse over the next few hours, but an initial blood culture was misidentified, according to the CDC report.

As the patient’s symptoms grew worse, the test was redone and he was found to have been infected with pnumonic plague, according to the CDC report. The remains of the dog were also tested and were found to be positive for the plague bacteria.

“Frankly one of the biggest surprises of this outbreak is the source,” said John Douglas, of Tri-County Health Department in Colorado and one of the study authors. “Primarily … dogs don’t get sick at all or they get a minor illness,” after being infected with the plague.

Janine Runfola, of the Tri-County Health Department in Colorado and lead author of the report, explained that cats are more likely to infect humans with the disease than dogs because they exhibit more symptoms.

“For pneumonic plague a more likely scenario would be you have a cat [play] with prairie dogs and infected fleas get on the cat,” Runfola said. “The cat gets sick and sneezes and coughs on its owner.”


PHOTO: A prairie dog is seen in a stock photo. Plague has been known to affect prairie dogs in the southwest region of the U.S.

The dog’s owner remained hospitalized for 23 days as he recovered from the potentially deadly disease, the report said. In addition to the owner, a close contact of the owner and two veterinary employees who treated the dog or handled its body also became infected with the plague. All three were successfully treated with medication after exhibiting symptoms.

The plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, and can infect the body in different ways. For example a flea bite can lead to infection of the glands, which is called bubonic plague — notorious for the epidemics it spawned during the Middle Ages in Europe. Because this plague was spread from dog to owner through coughing, it developed into pneumonic plague, according to Douglas.

The plague is known to be endemic to prairie dogs in the American Southwest, which can then lead to isolated outbreaks of the disease in domestic animals or humans.

“Pneumonic plague is the worst form,” said Douglas. “It’s the one that you least want to get. You get sick fast and the chances of getting a rocky or even fatal course” are increased.

The plague is incredibly rare in the U.S. with an estimated eight infections in the country reported every year. Douglas said pneumonic plague is even rarer and accounts for just 3 to 5 percent of plague cases.

Douglas said the case shows the importance of considering all the options when diagnosing a patient, even extremely rare options like the plague.

Child Protective Services Launch Investigation On Baltimore Mom Who Hit Son….

Heather Baker and Stacy Brasmer Osorio Robbins shared a link.

Child Protective Services Launch Investigation On Baltimore Mom Who Hit Son

“An investigation will determine if Ms. Graham will be allowed to continue being her children’s legal guardian”


  • Heather Baker

    15 mins ·

    I think DHS has more urgent cases than this one that is what is wrong with kids these days you cant give them a good lesson with a good whoopin when they have done wrong. THere are children out there that are being starved and unmonitored and DHS wants to look into a caring mom trying to keep her son from going down the wrong path. Shame on them get your priorities straight!

    Like · Comment · Share

    • Helen Sautner

      Write a comment…

  • Stacy Brasmer Osorio Robbins

    5 hrs ·

    Why is there not a public census on the bs investigations vs investigations on actual abuse. Why is it also, that those investigated can’t go after those who make false charges and wastes CPS’s time. Its one of the few things you can’t remove if unfounded nor sue the reporters for defamation.

    Like · Comment · Share

    • Tamara Miller Coscia-Leadingham Are they trying to incite more rioting???? OMG leave it alone. If more parents would do that the world would be a better place…kids would be more respectful.

      5 hrs · Like · 1

    • Stacy Brasmer Osorio Robbins There seems to ONLY be two extremes that makes news…neither of which is good for CPS. It’s either they investigate parents like this mama or they neglect the ones that result in deaths of children.

      5 hrs · Like

    • Tamara Miller Coscia-Leadingham Heck they should give her a medal not try to take her kid away…sheesh

      5 hrs · Like

    • Stacy Brasmer Osorio Robbins Based upon Maylands child abuse laws, I would love to know on what grounds, what laws were broken to constitute an investigation. Thats the bs w/ CPS…anyone can get pissed off and make fake accusations, while remaining anonymous, and the ONLY people who are injured (emotionally in the least) are the families under investigation and theres NO recourse for those falsely charged. It IS ABSOLUTE INFLICTION of emotional distress to families who endure investigations. If a child commits a crime, cops CANT talk to a minor w/o an adult present. W/ CPS they can go to the childrens school, w/o parents even knowing and question the kids on the accusations made against their parents. Its at least months of pure bs when investigated. Time that could have otherwise been spent making precious memories.

      Stacy Brasmer Osorio Robbins's photo.

      5 hrs · Edited · Like



Written by Lea Vat Kens April 30th 2015

A woman seen hitting and berating a black-clad teenager, later confirmed to be her son, has been hailed as “mom of the year” after her intervention on the streets of Baltimore was caught on video. As violence flared up across the city on Monday, the woman, who was identified as Toya Graham on Tuesday afternoon, was filmed telling her child to “take that f—— mask off.”

Graham spoke to CBS News about the video, which initially went viral with little context. In the interview, the single mother of six tells the network that she intervened out of concern for her 16-year-old son’s safety. She said: “That’s my only son, and at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray. But to stand up there and vandalize police officers, that’s not justice.”

See Also: Carly Fiorina: “Baltimore Has Black Mayor, Police Chief; Still Blames White People?”

“By late Monday, videos of the incident were so widespread that Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts brought it up in an overnight news conference. Batts told reporters: “And if you saw in one scene, you had a mother who grabbed their child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight. I think these were youth coming out of the high school and they thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at the police department and address it that way.”

HowevHowever, in an unexpected turn of events, Child Protective Services in Baltimore has launched an investigation on Toya Graham shortly after the video which showed her beating her son on the street became viral.

A CPS Baltimore spokesperson told Newslo: “After reviewing the video in question, it has come to our attention that Ms. Graham is a mother of six. Although her actions are somewhat understandable, we cannot allow a young man to suffer such violence and abuse, regardless of the cause. Therefore, CPS investigators will question Ms. Graham and her children, and will also conduct an investigation that will determine if Ms. Graham will be allowed to continue being her children’s legal guardian.”

Ms. Graham did not wish to speak to Newslo or comment on the matter.

Two Wash. men convicted of murder in stabbing death

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – A Pierce County jury has convicted two men of Second-Degree Murder in the stabbing death of a third man in a case with ties to white supremacy.

The county prosecutor’s office said 33-year-old Shane McKittrick and 34-year-old Eric Elliser are scheduled to be sentenced May 19.

They were convicted Tuesday in the Nov. 16, 2013, stabbing death of 27-year-old Derek Wagner.

The prosecutor said Wagner had been accused of having an affair with the wife of a fellow skinhead.

McKittrick’s attorney said his client stabbed Wagner in self-defense. Elliser’s lawyer told jurors his client had nothing to do with Wagner’s death.

Two other people previously pleaded guilty in the case. A jury acquitted a fifth defendant.

The prosecutor said the defendants and victim had ties to the Aryan Skins Kindred prison gang.

Two guilty in Tacoma murder with white-supremacist ties


Staff writerApril 28, 2015

A Pierce County jury on Tuesday found two men guilty of second-degree murder but acquitted a third in a Tacoma murder with ties to white supremacy.

Shanne McKittrick, 33, and Eric Elliser, 34, are to be sentenced May 19. Mark Stredicke, 38, who’d also been charged with murder, was found not guilty.

Prosecutors argued that McKittrick, with Elliser’s help, stabbed Derek Wagner to death Nov. 16, 2013. Prosecutors said the defendants and victim had ties to the white-supremacist movement.

They alleged Stredicke, McKittrick and Elliser were angry with Wagner, 27, because he’d been dating Stredicke’s wife. Prosecutors said that violated a code among white-supremacist gangs that says one skinhead does not sleep with another’s wife.

They contended Stredicke ordered McKittrick and Elliser to kill Wagner.

McKittrick’s attorney argued that his client stabbed Wagner in self-defense, and Elliser’s lawyer told jurors his client had nothing to do with Wagner’s death.

Stredicke’s attorney told jurors his client was angry with his wife, not Wagner, and never ordered his death.

Two other people previously pleaded guilty in the case.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 @TNTAdam

Related Story can be found here !!

Local Homes Trashed, the locks changed………………


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The new lava lake volcanic eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii

Ellen Moore

23 hrs ·

The new lava lake volcanic eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii. I must say I’m excited to go soon..

Kilauea Volcano lava lake reaches highest level


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Thousands of police descend on Baltimore to enforce curfew after riots


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(Reuters) – As night falls on Baltimore on Tuesday, thousands of police and National Guard troops fanned out to enforce a new curfew and prevent further violence as the mayor fended off criticism that she responded sluggishly to a night of rioting, looting and fires.

More than 3,000 police from Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, and National Guard members in helmets, took up posts in front of businesses and hospitals in Baltimore a day after the worst rioting in the United States in years.

Shops were looted, buildings burned to the ground, 20 officers injured and police arrested more than 250 people in the violence that erupted following Monday’s funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died in a hospital on April 19 a week after sustaining injuries in police custody.

The death of Freddie Gray gave new energy to the public outcry that flared last year after police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri; New York City and elsewhere.



Police promise vigilance as Obama weighs in on Baltimore violence


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One person critically injured in Baltimore violence: Police

For nearly a week after Gray died from a spinal injury, protests in Baltimore had been peaceful and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she acted cautiously on Monday because she wanted to avoid a heavy-handed response that would incite more violence.

“It’s a very delicate balancing act, when we have to make sure that we’re managing but not increasing and escalating the problem,” said Rawlings-Blake, 45, an African-American and Democrat who grew up in the city 40 miles (64 km) from Washington, D.C.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said he had called Rawlings-Blake repeatedly Monday but that she held off requesting the National Guard until three hours after looting started.

“The mayor of Baltimore had the city of Baltimore police on the ground. Quite frankly, they were overwhelmed. All the rest of the (boots) on the ground came from us,” the Republican governor said the day after declaring a state of emergency in the largely black city.


Rawlings-Blake imposed a one-week curfew but stressed the need to respond in a way that did not incite more violence.

Bars and restaurants were shutting down early since they did not expect clients due to the 10 p.m. curfew for all adults, which will last the rest of the week.

“We have no exceptions other than for medical or coming and going from work. We will be stopping people who are out after curfew. We are taking that seriously. We don’t want to engage in any forceful action,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told reporters.

Peaceful protesters marched through some Baltimore streets on Tuesday, but there was no sign of the rock- and brick-throwing that set off a night of looting and arson that burned 19 buildings and left one person in critical condition.

“They tore the city down last night, and today we’re trying to rebuild it again,” said Perry Hopkins, who formed a line of men from the community separating police from the crowd in the afternoon.

Volunteers armed with brooms cleaned up debris from burned out and looted buildings in the city of 620,000 people, where schools, many businesses and some government offices closed until security improved.

The security crisis disrupted the city’s daily routines. In a rare move, the Major League Baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox will be played as scheduled Wednesday but closed to the public.

Acrid smoke hung over the streets and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was sending two teams to Baltimore to investigate the multiple blazes on Monday night.

Gray was arrested on April 12 while running from officers. He was taken to the police station in a van, with no seat restraint and suffered a spinal injury.

Six officers have been suspended, and the U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible civil rights violations.


“There’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday,” said President Barack Obama, who said he spoke to the governor and the mayor. “It is counterproductive.”

Obama also said at a news conference the problems in places such as Baltimore were not new and need to be addressed by everyone.

“We can’t just leave this to the police,” Obama said, adding that “we as a country have to do some soul searching. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.”

Almost a quarter of people in Baltimore live below the poverty line and decayed, crime-ridden areas of the city inspired the gritty television police drama “The Wire.”

Monday’s ransacking of stores, pharmacies and a shopping mall and clashes with police in riot gear was reminiscent of rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 after authorities declined to indict a white police officer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager.

Police in Ferguson came under intense criticism last year for quickly adopting a militarized posture, using armored vehicles, showing heavy weapons and using tear gas.

Baltimore police Captain John Kowalczyk told reporters that the city had prepared for protests by teenagers on Monday. But as the violence increased, older people were involved.

“When we deployed our officers yesterday, we were deploying for a high school event,” Kowalczyk said. “I don’t think there’s anyone in the country that would expect us to deploy with automatic weapons and armored vehicles to an event with 13- 14- and 15-year-olds.”

(Additional reporting by Jim Bourg and Scott Malone in Baltimore, Laila Kearney in New York, Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Writing by Mary Milliken and Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Grant McCool)

Crews battle stubborn fire at Bellevue Ford dealership

By KOMO Staff Published: Apr 25, 2015 at 4:52 PM PDT Last Updated: Apr 25, 2015 at 5:20 PM PDT

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Firefighters continue to battle a stubborn fire that wiped out a Ford dealership early Saturday. The Bellevue Fire Department is calling it the most expensive loss to a business in 15 years.

The 3-alarm fire has severely damaged Prestige Ford on 116th Avenue NE, gutting the dealership, and leaving ashes of cars.
Approximately 100 firefighters have been battling the flames since 3 a.m., with utility crews increasing the city’s water pressure because so much water is being used.
Firefighters say they have ran into a little luck, as the fire missed several oil tanks located at the back of the building.

Saturday afternoon, employees and customers watched in amazement. Auto Nation, the company that owns the franchise, says all employees will be fully compensated throughout the rebuilding processes.
“Were probably over $20 million in loss of jobs sales, the rebuild,” a Prestige Ford general manager said. “We don’t know how many vehicles were in the building being repaired.”
Officials believe the fire started on the north side of the roof, but still do not have an official cause.
There are no reported injuries. Firefighters say it could take days for the fire to completely burn out.