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Top News & Analysis Washington

  • It was the second-consecutive monthly decline in filings, although there remains a sharp divergence along state lines, according to a report Thursday by foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc..

  • The parent company of Tully's Coffee has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will close nine stores this Sunday. The Seattle- based coffee chain has long struggled under the shadow of Starbucks Corp.. Tully's opened its first store in 1992. It has shops in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

  • Oct 11- Foreclosure filings on U.S. homes in September fell to their lowest level in five years, but some states are still seeing their foreclosures rise, a report from RealtyTrac said on Thursday. The overall decrease put the combined number of reported default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions at 180,427- the lowest total since July 2007.

  • SPOKANE, Wash.-- A federal judge in Yakima will decide whether a Canadian mining company must pay to clean up pollution that for decades crossed the border into Lake Roosevelt in Washington. U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko heard motions on the lawsuit Wednesday and said he will issue a decision later this year.

  • OLYMPIA, Wash.-- South Korea has lifted a ban against Pacific Northwest- grown potatoes used for things like potato chips, but a ban on other fresh potatoes still remains because of a fear over a bacterium known as zebra chip, state officials announced Wednesday during a phone conference from Gov.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 10- Record-high retail prices for gasoline in California began to ease on Wednesday, receding from an unprecedented jump to $5 a gallon in some areas, even as further refinery disruptions threatened to slow the decline.

  • WASHINGTON-- A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday found that the economy grew modestly in the late summer, bolstered by solid gains in housing. The report is based on anecdotal information from the regional districts and covers the period from mid-August to Sept. 28. The region's economy expanded modestly.

  • Carmen Wilkerson ran for mayor of St. George with one clear goal in mind for the tiny Missouri town: Get rid of it. In 2008, St. George _ known as a local speed trap _ had spent $200,000 more than it took into its coffers, according to county records. In its budget woes, St. George is far from alone.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 10- Record-high retail prices for gasoline in California began to ease on Wednesday, receding from an unprecedented jump to $5 a gallon in some areas, even as further refinery disruptions threatened to slow the decline.

  • Caris& Co. analyst Scott Tilghman said in a research note Wednesday that Wal-Mart Stores Inc.' s recently announced plans for same-day shipping is not the threat to Amazon.com Inc. that some perceived it to be. Wal-Mart's program offers fewer products and is being offered in five markets, versus the 10 being tested by Amazon.

  • BELLINGHAM, Wash.-- The Bonneville Power Administration has proposed a 10- year power sales agreement with Alcoa Inc.' s Intalco smelter in Ferndale. The Portland- based federal power marketing agency is taking public comment on the proposal through Nov. 7. The BPA says the deal should help maintain the 625 jobs at the smelter six miles north of Bellingham.

  • Oct 10- Record-high retail prices for gasoline in California began to ease on Wednesday, receding from an unprecedented rally to nearly $5 a gallon, even as further refinery disruptions threatened to slow the decline.

  • ISSAQUAH, Wash.-- Costco is drawing more shoppers and signing up more new members, helping the wholesale club operator's fiscal fourth-quarter net income and revenue climb. Consumers have been drawn to stores like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club because they feel like they are getting bargains by purchasing items in bulk.

  • OLYMPIA, Wash.-- Washington liquor sales are showing signs of continued strength after the state moved to a privatized system. Washington voters approved the privatization shift last year, and private liquor sales began in June.

  • ISSAQUAH, Wash.-- Shoppers continue to head to Costco in search of deals, helping the wholesale club operator's fiscal fourth-quarter net income and revenue climb. Consumers have been drawn to stores like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club because they feel like they are getting bargains by purchasing items in bulk.

  • SEATTLE-- A Michigan woman dying of leukemia says she hopes her embarrassment during a Seattle airport security pat-down might change the way the Transportation Security Administration treats travelers with medical conditions. Dunaj, 34, was making what she expects will be the last trip of her life on Oct. 2 as she traveled through Seattle en route to Hawaii.

  • SEATTLE, Oct 9- Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled a new direction for the world's largest software company, pointing to hardware and online services as its future, taking a page from long-time rival Apple Inc.

  • SEATTLE, Oct 9- Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer got a lower bonus than last year's, partly for flat sales of Windows and his failure to ensure that the company provided a choice of browser to some European customers.

  • SEATTLE-- A Michigan woman dying of leukemia hopes her embarrassing experience at a Seattle airport changes the way the Transportation Security Administration treats travelers with medical conditions. Michelle Dunaj, 34, was making what she expects will be the last trip of her life on Oct. 2 as she departed for Hawaii.

  • "Neither too early, nor too late; neither too hot, nor too cold, 2012 looks to be the' Goldilocks' vintage, where everything is just right," said Christopher Howell, general manager of Cain Vineyard and Winery, referring to the story book character. Winemakers in Oregon, Washington, New York state and Canada are also excited by this year's harvest.