Leaders warned of danger from new route before Amtrak derailment in Washington

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

Train Derails In Washington State, Injuries and Casualties Reported

City leaders in Lakewood, South Sound residents and members of the media had warned that the Point Defiance Bypass route, on which numerous people were killed or injured when an Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailed Monday near Lacey, could lead to fatal accidents and traffic disruptions.

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Amtrak Cascades Train 501 derailed Monday morning during its inaugural run on the Point Defiance Bypass route. The train left the tracks on an Interstate 5 overpass in Pierce County, slamming into cars and throwing passengers and crew members. Authorities confirmed that multiple people were killed, but they declined to say how many by early Monday afternoon.

The editorial board of The News Tribune in Tacoma questioned in 2013 whether the new line, which shaved about 10 minutes off the Seattle-to-Portland route, was worth the threat to public safety.

>> Related: Here’s what the Amtrak engineer said in his call for help after the Washington derailment

“A train accident on tracks near I-5 easily could create backups stretching miles in both directions,” the editorial board wrote. “Is making the train ride to Portland 10 minutes quicker worth the threat to public safety and all the disruption it will create for thousands of drivers? Is the state really that desperate for federal rail funds?”

>> Related: Fatalities reported after train derails onto Interstate 5 in Washington

The new high-speed route takes trains inland and runs parallel to Interstate 5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Dupont, separating passenger trains from freight trains that continue to use a waterfront route. It’s the same route that Sound Transit uses for its Sounder commuter train, but that is not a high-speed train.

The News Tribune was not alone in its fear of what could happen.

>> Photos: Amtrak train derails in Washington

The city of Lakewood sued Amtrak to stop the rerouting, and Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson and some residents in the area have long voiced their concerns about the danger.

At a city meeting on Dec. 5, Anderson said he believed the trains were too close to traffic and pedestrians.

>> Related: A history of some of Amtrak's deadliest derailments

“Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens,” Anderson said at the city meeting.

Anderson also told local media that it would be only a matter of time before the high-speed trains kill someone.

3-month-old girl exposed to heroin, taken to hospital

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:17 PM

Crystal Cumberland. (Photo: WPXI.com)
Crystal Cumberland. (Photo: WPXI.com)

Police arrested a woman after they say she exposed her baby to fentanyl.

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But she told investigators that's not the drug she thought she was using.

The baby had to be flown to Children's Hospital from Uniontown.

Crystal Cumberland is in jail and facing charges including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to Pennsylvania State Police in Fayette County, in November, the baby girl had to be given several doses of Narcan to revive her.

At the time, investigators thought the baby overdosed on heroin, but according to a criminal complaint, Cumberland "admitted to hospital staff to snorting a white powder to get high, which exposed the infant to fentanyl that was sold as heroin." 

Children left in freezing car while mother talked to friends in mall, police say

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

Mother Talked To Friends In Mall While Children Left In Freezing Car

After getting calls about mothers leaving their kids in freezing temperatures, police are warning parents not to leave their children in their vehicles.

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A mother left her two young children in a car as she spoke with friends for more than 45 minutes, according to WXIN

Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer Stephen Jones found an 11-year-old girl clutching her 2-year-old brother inside a Toyota Corolla around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Castleton Square Mall. The outside temperature was 8 degrees at the time, according to WXIN

The girl told Jones she had the keys to the car but had turned it off. Jones asked her to turn on the car. 

Jones went into the mall and found the 29-year-old mother speaking with a group of her friends in front of a store. She was very apologetic. 

Jones filed a report with the Department of Child Services and warned the woman to never leave her children alone again, according to WISH

Hours earlier, police had also responded to a call that a woman left her son, 4, and daughter, 7, in a car in freezing temperatures for more than an hour, according to WISH.

Dog mauls 4-year-old girl, police say

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:14 PM

A 4-year-old girl was airlifted to the hospital Thursday after being mauled by a dog. (Photo: WFTV.com)
A 4-year-old girl was airlifted to the hospital Thursday after being mauled by a dog. (Photo: WFTV.com)

A 4-year-old girl is recovering at a local hospital after she was mauled by a family friend’s dog, police said. 

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The attack happened Thursday afternoon at the Meadows Mobile Home Park in Melbourne, police said.

Police said the girl's mother dropped the girl off to be watched by a family friend and another woman. The family friend left and the child was being watched by the other woman when the mixed-breed dog attacked the girl, police said.

The woman was able to grab the girl and run out of the house, where she screamed for help, police said. The dog kept trying to get through the door when a neighbor grabbed the child and called 911, police said. 

"I just picked her up and ran like hell with her. I told my wife, 'Call 911, we got an emergency.' That's before I even saw her wounds," neighbor Richard Hansen said. "I saw her trying to keep the door shut, so I ran over there and she said the dog attacked her."

It’s unclear why the dog attacked the child, police said.

The child had injuries to her neck, back and leg, but she will recover, police said. The woman also has not-life-threatening injuries. 

"The little girl kept saying, 'Bad dog, bad dog,'" Hansen said.

Animal services has captured the dog, as well as three other dogs, but it’s unclear what will happen to the animals.

Police said they don't anticipate filing any criminal charges against the dog owners and said they were cooperative.

Is Boston parking space worth $45,000?

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 8:46 PM

A parking space is on the market for $45,000. (Photo: Boston25News.com)
A parking space is on the market for $45,000. (Photo: Boston25News.com)

A piece of real estate about the size of a coffin comes with a drop-dead price in Brookline. 

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It’s nearly $45,000 for a parking spot, but snow removal is extra.

Realtor.com shows the spot, off Addington Road, hit the market in November for $15,000 more than it costs now. 

In Brookline, parking is at a premium. But the spot isn’t even premium parking. For one thing, you're at risk of getting sideswiped and there's a tree stump that makes getting out of the passenger seat a little difficult. 

To be fair, the listing does not promise voluminous, capacious or anything of the sort. 

Though it may be in a "sought after location," the property description also advises it is "suitable for compact car only." 

“It seems like a lot of money, but it's not unreasonable for a parking space in Brookline,” The Presti Group’s Gina Dirocco said.

Dirocco says there's a good reason why, in Brookline, this humble pad of asphalt could fetch such a seemingly outrageous price. 

“Most towns around here will let you park overnight nine months out of the year. All the months except the winter. Brookline, however, does not offer parking any time of the year. Ever,” she explained. 

With a low-enough interest rate, it's even possible slot number 12 could wind up costing less per month than a rented space. 

Still, what might make good economic sense in the long run might not feel, to some, like good common sense in the short term. 

It’s been on the market for a while and still hasn’t sold.