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Wounded man dies on sidewalk

A man was fatally shot Tuesday night in Seattle, according to police.

At about 11:16 p.m., officers responded to reports of shots fired in the 1700 block of Harvard Avenue. When they arrived they found a man in his 40s on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police could not resuscitate the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has not yet been identified.

Police did not provide information on a possible suspect.


Woman convicted in killing is freed

Mechele Linehan is a free woman for now.

Within hours of her bail being dismissed Tuesday, KTUU-TV ( reports that Linehan was aboard a plane and headed to Olympia.

Linehan was convicted in 2007 of conspiring to kill Kent Leppink, who was shot on an isolated trail south of Anchorage in 1996. Prosecutors claimed she was inspired by watching the 1994 movie “The Last Seduction,” in which a femme fatale coaxes her lover into killing her husband.

The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled in 2010 the trial judge wrongly allowed that connection to be made and the indictment was thrown out in December.

State Prosecutor Paul Miovas says he may present the case to a grand jury in the next few weeks in efforts for a new indictment.

Until she was charged with Leppink’s shooting death in October 2006, Linehan lived in Olympia with her husband, Colin, a former civilian doctor at Madigan Army Medical Center, and their school-age daughter.


Undecided Dem to announce vote

An undecided Democratic lawmaker is taking a stance on same-sex marriage.

Sen. Jim Kastama, of Puyallup, has scheduled a news conference for Thursday to declare his position. Supporters of the bill are just two votes shy in the Senate, and Kastama is one of a half-dozen lawmakers who remain uncommitted.

Kastama is a conservative Democrat who voted in 1998 to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He supported a 2009 expansion of the state’s domestic-partnership laws.

The state House is widely expected to have enough support to pass gay marriage, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed the proposal earlier this month.

Mount Rainier

Searchers wait for better weather

A special team of skilled skiers and climbers is being assembled at Mount Rainier National Park to search for two climbers and two campers overdue from winter outings, park officials said Wednesday.

But even this team has to wait for weather conditions to improve to launch the search, spokeswoman Patti Wold said.

Wednesday’s storm dumped a few feet of snow on Mount Rainier and brought wind gusts clocking in at more than 100 mph.

Search plans also call for a helicopter flight once conditions improve, Wold added.

On Tuesday, a search team of two people hiked on the route from Paradise, the launching point for campers at the mountain, and Panorama Point. They reported back to say that they sank in 2 or 3 feet of snow with each step and had limited visibility.

The two parties are believed to be well-equipped with tents, sleeping bags and other gear needed to survive. Rangers hope they’re waiting out the storm.

The campers are Mark Vucich, 37, of San Diego, and Michelle Trojanowski, 30, of Atlanta. They were due back Sunday from the Muir snowfield at the 10,000-foot level.

The climbers are a Springfield, Ore., couple who have not been named. They were due back Monday from an attempt to reach the summit of 14,411-foot Mount Rainier.


NASA to turn over shuttle trainer

NASA plans to officially turn over the keys to a full-size Space Shuttle trainer to Seattle’s Museum of Flight on Thursday.

The ownership transfer ceremony will be held in Houston at the Johnson Space Center.

The trainer was used to get astronauts familiar with shuttle cockpit controls and emergency exit procedures.

The Museum of Flight was one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the retired space shuttles. The trainer is considered a consolation prize by some, but the museum is glad to have something special for its new space gallery.

Times staff and news services