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Flags Lowered Across Washington To Honor Landslide Victims

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network
Flags fly at half mast in front of Washington State Capitol.

Flags are flying at half mast across Washington state this afternoon to honor victims of last month's deadly landslide.

A solitary bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" as two state patrolmen slowly lowered the state and national flags flying over the capitol plaza in Olympia. Governor Jay Inslee requested flags statewide be flown at half staff for one week.

After the flag lowering ceremony, the governor traveled back to the disaster area. Inslee said he wants to observe a community meeting to discuss reopening a severed highway -- SR 530.

The governor says how to do that "in a safe and respectful way" presents a challenge. He adds the state is giving this increasing focus.

Earlier Tuesday, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner raised the death toll from last month's slide to 37. That's an increase of one. The number of missing remains at seven.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.