Top Neurosurgeon at Swedish Resigns after Seattle Times Investigation: Three weeks after the Seattle Times published an exposé on the questionable methods and culture behind Swedish Neuroscience Institute's high volume of surgeries, the hospital's top-billing neurosurgeon, Dr. Johnny Delashaw, has resigned. Swedish CEO Tony Armada resigned last week, and state regulators have launched an investigation into hospital practices.
Family of Muslim Teen Found Hanged in Woods Is Asking FBI to Investigate: Ben Keita, a senior at Lake Stevens High School, went missing in November 2016. A little more month later, his body was found hanging from a tree in the woods near his neighborhood. Keita's father says his son had no history of mental illness, and while the death was initially ruled a suicide, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner later concluded the cause of death was undetermined. The family and Washington's Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR-Washington) have asked for an FBI investigation, and the FBI says it's reviewing the case.
A Redmond Mosque Bars Anti-Trans Activists After They Come Knocking for Ballot Initiative Signatures: The Daily Beast reports that Just Want Privacy tried getting mosque-goers in Redmond to sign their anti-trans ballot initiative last year during the hectic Ramadan season. But when the board of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) learned more on what Just Want Privacy was actually about, they refused them entry at the mosque's Eid al-Fitr celebration.
Father of Detained Dreamer Charged with Entering US Illegally: "A complaint filed Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida alleges that Antonio Ramirez-Poledo was deported from the U.S. at Paso del Norte, Texas, in 2004, after a King County conviction for possessing heroin and cocaine for distribution, but then came back," the Seattle Times reports. Ramirez-Toledo's son, Daniel Ramirez Medina, has twice been granted residency in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), because he was brought to the country as a child. Nevertheless, Ramirez Medina was arrested by immigration officials during the raid on his father's home. Ramirez Medina has been detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma for nearly a month.
Ed Murray's Soda Tax Wouldn't Tax Diet, the Drink of the White and Rich: The 2-cents-an-ounce tax "would be used to support various programs aimed at reducing disparities between white students and black and Latino students," the Times' Gene Balk writes. "But this proposed tax could also place a heavier burden on the very groups it’s aiming to help."
Seattle's Office for Civil Rights Launches Harassment Hotline: "The hotline, part of the Bias Hurts campaign, is to be used for reporting discrimination and harassment in public, at work, and while applying for housing," Ana reports.
Bertha May Be "Several Inches Off" Tunnel Alignment: The project has stopped just a thousand feet shy of its final target, and engineers are conducting more measurement tests. The tunnel boring machine is expected to start drilling again in a few days and wrap up in May.
Up to 1,200 Gallons of Diesel Fuel Spilled into the Duwamish on Tuesday: "Diesel oil spilled directly into the Duwamish, close to where the river flows under the West Seattle bridge," KUOW reports. "Officials say a tug boat ran into a barge, piercing the fuel tank in the barge and letting fuel leak out."
This Week on Blabbermouth: Eli, Rich, and I discuss the weird "presidential" framing around Trump's address to Congress, Sean takes a deep dive into the films of Steve Bannon, and Charles discusses the significance of Moonlight's Oscar win. Listen here.
GOP Lawmakers Say Jeff Sessions Should Step Back from Trump-Russia Investigation: Did Jeff Sessions lie under oath? During his confirmation hearing Sessions told Congress he didn't communicate with the Russians, but the Justice Department disclosed that he did. Now, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says Sessions “needs to clarify” his testimony and should recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) made similar statements.