Northwest In Brief 12/26


No more overdue library fines for kids in Whatcom

Whatcom County library officials want to encourage kids to read, so they have decided to stop issuing fines for overdue library books in the two public library systems as of Jan. 1.

The Bellingham Herald reports library officials want to support early learning by getting library cards into youngsters’ hands.

Parents have told library staff that fines make them reluctant to get library cars for their children.

The change will affect card holders 17 and younger, who check out children and teen materials.

Youths who fail to return items on time will be notified that they’re overdue. They will be charged the cost of replacing items that are 60 days overdue.

Young people still will face overdue fines if they check out materials meant for adults and don’t return them in time.

Lake Stevens

DNA may link man to 2 robberies

Detectives believe DNA on a cigarette butt left outside a Lake Stevens pharmacy may help them link a robbery there to a crime across town the previous year.

The Daily Herald reports 25-year-old Benjamin Roy pleaded guilty in November to the May pharmacy robbery. Days after he was sentenced, laboratory results came back on the cigarette detectives found outside the pharmacy. A connection was found to a robbery at a Lake Stevens Chase Bank, which was robbed in November 2011.

After the bank robbery, detectives gathered DNA evidence from human hair left on a sweat shirt abandoned nearby. Now it appears that the two DNA samples match. But Roy, who is serving six months in the Snohomish County Jail, won’t be charged with that other crime until the lab runs another check of his DNA.


State audit: Golf course broke law

A Washington state audit says a Lynnwood golf course broke the law.

The Seattle Times reports the audit focused on millions of dollars in loans since 2008 to the Lynnwood Municipal Golf Course from the city’s utility fund. The state auditor says the loans were not allowed because the golf course can’t afford to pay them back. The city is considering closing the struggling golf course.

The audit released Monday also pointed out management problems at the 21-year-old golf course. City leaders say they will decide in the next three months whether to keep it open.

The Associated Press