Hard-core tokers light up under the Space Needle

More than 100 hard-core tokers gathered under the Space Needle at the stroke of midnight to light one up in celebration of Washington state’s new marijuana law, which made it legal on Thursday for those 21 and older to possess an ounce or less of pot.

Voters in Washington and Colorado approved the nation’s first recreational marijuana laws in November. The Colorado law doesn’t take effect until January. The Washington initiative allows for pot possession, but it’s still illegal to buy, sell or grow marijuana.

Although smoking publicly remains against the law, that didn’t stop the bandanna-clad crew puffing on pipes and joints under a chilly night sky early Thursday.


Memorial service held for slain Belcher girlfriend

The slain girlfriend of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was a loyal friend who brought joy to others with her smiles and laughter, a relative said Thursday at a memorial service for the woman.

Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. He then drove to the Chiefs practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed Belcher commit suicide.

Perkins was from Texas, and family and friends gathered at a church in Blue Ridge on Thursday to remember her.


Group finds high levels of retardant in kids clothes

High levels of a potentially cancer-causing flame retardant have been found in products for babies and young children, an environmental group said Thursday as it announced legal action against the retailers and manufacturers.

The findings by the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health are expected to add fuel to the campaign to change California’s flammability standards.

The center sent product samples to an independent laboratory and said it identified 20 products, including 16 intended for babies, with levels of chlorinated Tris that exceeded state safety standards. Tris was banned from children’s pajamas in 1977.


Border agent hit by car kills driver by shooting from hood

A Border Patrol agent in Southern California who shot and killed a mother of five after she hit him with her vehicle fired his gun 10 times from the hood of her car as he tried to get the woman to stop, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

Valeria “Munique” Tachiquin Alvarado, 32, suffered 14 gunshot wounds to her upper body, the San Diego County Medical Examiner said. Some bullets may have caused more than one wound. Alvarado fled a friend’s apartment in Chula Vista when agents came with an arrest warrant for someone else, according to the autopsy. Police say her car struck an agent and she drove with him on the hood for about 200 yards.

Alvarado’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine at 0.1 milligram per liter. Alvarado’s family has filed a wrongful death claim, saying the agent who fired had a long history of misconduct.

— From news service reports