The City Council of Sunnyside has sent a message to gang members that they're not welcome in this Central Washington town, voting unanimously...

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Sunnyside, Yakima County

The City Council of Sunnyside has sent a message to gang members that they’re not welcome in this Central Washington town, voting unanimously to become the first city in the state to make gang membership a crime.

The city has identified about 50 adult and 200 juvenile gang members living in the city, about 35 miles southeast of Yakima.

The new ordinance makes being a criminal-street-gang member, recruiting members and using threats to coerce someone into being a member gross misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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The ordinance, modeled after a California law, defines a criminal street gang as a group of three or more people with a leader and an identifiable name that takes part in criminal activities. It also makes being a parent who “knowingly permits” a child to break the new gang law guilty of a civil infraction carrying a fine of up to $1,000.

More than 80 people from Sunnyside, Toppenish and Yakima attended the special meeting Monday on the proposed ordinance.

City leaders argue that City Manager Bob Stockwell said most of the city’s crime is being done in the name of gangs, but opponents say the new law could encourage racial profiling and won’t help the already-overtaxed criminal-justice system.


College-prep program to start

Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle will offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) program starting this fall.

The school has received word that its program, developed over the past two years, has been approved by the nonprofit International Baccalaureate Organization.

The IB program is a college-preparatory program that includes two years of courses in six subjects. At the end, students take exams, which are scored by people appointed by the organization, a nonprofit education group based in Switzerland.

The IB diploma is recognized by universities in 102 countries and, at some institutions, can merit college credit.

Sealth will be the second public high school in Seattle, along with Ingraham, to offer the program. There are 15 high schools that offer the high-school IB program in Washington state. Four schools offer the middle-school program.


Boyfriend arrested in death of child

A 23-year-old man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend’s daughter in Snohomish.

The child, who is nearly 2, suffered brain trauma and died later Tuesday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, said Snohomish County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover.

Medics were called to a home in the 1100 block of McDonald Avenue at 4:42 p.m. Monday, Hover said.

The child had been home alone with the suspect, who sought help from a neighbor, who then called 911. She wasn’t breathing when medics arrived, Hover said.

She was taken first to Providence Everett Medical Center and then transferred to Harborview.

Snohomish police requested help from the Sheriff’s Office, and deputies arrested the man early Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree assault of a child.


Beastie Boys’ special show

Tickets for a “surprise” Beastie Boys show Friday at the Crocodile Cafe go on sale at 4 p.m. today. The New York trio will be cranking up instrumental jams from their new CD “The Mix-Up,” which goes on sale June 26.

The Beasties are in Seattle to play the Sasquatch! Festival at the Gorge.

Doors for the show at the Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., Seattle, open at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $25 (plus service charges) at


Man tried to lure children to vehicle

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office seeks the public’s help in identifying a man who tried to lure children to his vehicle in the Snohomish area Saturday evening.

The man saw the children playing in the 7300 block of 79th Avenue Southeast, told them he had candy and asked them to come over, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover.

The children immediately went home to tell their parents.

The man is described as possibly white or possibly Hispanic, in his 30s, clean-shaven with short, combed-back black hair. He wore a white T-shirt with a gold bracelet on his right wrist.

He was driving a green or blue Chevrolet Suburban, possibly with Alaska plates.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s tip line at 425-388-3845.

Chinook Pass

Pass scheduled to open Thursday

Chinook Pass will open at noon Thursday in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

The outlook for reopening Highway 123 south of Cayuse Pass is bleak, said the state Department of Transportation. Extensive damage from last November’s storm washed out a large section of the road and Mount Rainier National Park officials estimate it will take all summer to repair the damage.

The closed section is between the junction of Highway 410 and Stevens Canyon Road.

“Visitors to Mount Rainier can still reach the park’s most popular areas, Paradise and Sunrise,” said Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. “But with Highway 123 closed it will not be possible to travel between them.”

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