Washington state

Washington state briefs

St. Helens elk herd to be thinned

Hunting of the Mount St. Helens elk will be expanded to reduce the size of the herd, under a management plan released by the state Thursday.

The five-year plan calls for gradually reducing the state's largest elk herd - currently estimated at 12,500 animals - to about 10,000.

"All evidence points to the fact that this herd is being strained by loss of forage due to changes in timber practices and other factors," Dave Ware, game manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement.

Ware said the area "cannot adequately support that many elk."

At least 400 elk have already gathered in the mudflow area at the foot of Mount St. Helens, where 60 elk died of malnutrition and related causes last winter.


DOT Web site to get an upgrade in usage

The state Department of Transportation said Thursday it will briefly interrupt its Web site service this weekend so it can make the site available to more people simultaneously.

The department said that over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and during the subsequent traffic-snarling snowstorm in Western Washington, demand to access the Web site was so high that some people couldn't get through.

The Web site contains information such as traffic cameras, traffic-flow data, travel alerts and weather information. To make the service upgrades, the department will disrupt its Web site twice between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday. Each disruption will last about 15 minutes.


30 days for citizen trying to end chase

A man who tried to help end a police chase in Kirkland by ramming a carjacker has been sentenced to jail.

Anthony Brammer was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and fined $1,300 after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment and obstructing police.

Brammer had seen television coverage of an hour-long police chase through Seattle's east side on Oct. 4, 2005. He was on his way to the store when the stolen car ran a red light and barely missed him. He rammed the car when it stopped briefly, but it sped away.

Brammer didn't help and endangered other people, Lt. Red Caldwell said.