EASTER EGG HUNT AT SEATTLE ZOO TURNS VIOLENT: SEATTLE (AP) — One of usually peaceful springtime rituals of childhood — the Easter egg hunt — turned nasty at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
Blame the moms.
A statement on the Seattle Police Department blotter Monday says the "hard-boiled tale" began Sunday afternoon, "when one woman reportedly pushed a child aside as her own child was scrambling toward some brightly colored eggs."
Police say the two mothers began fighting and had to be separated three or four times. The fisticuffs left one woman with a bloody nose.
DANCINGTO PROTEST DANCE TAX: OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Dozens of people protesting a decades-old state tax on dance venues swayed to the rhythm Monday in support of a repeal being considered by lawmakers at the Washington state Capitol.
Koe Suzuteki performed the Charleston on the steps of the Capitol amid the groups who had gathered to dance in protest.
"Dance encourages social culture, getting into your body and being out in the town, spending money on local nightlife. It's a wonderful way to connect and it makes people smile," said the Seattle resident who goes dancing twice a week. "Why are those always the things that need to be taxed and pushed away?"
Washington state has had the tax, which targets venues that provide an opportunity to dance, since the 1960s. A measure to repeal it has cleared a committee and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate.
Proponents of the repeal say enforcement of the tax is arbitrary, targeting medium-sized venues and not places like sports stadiums that often host concerts.
"Some places are being charged for this tax for some shows and not for other shows. It's completely arbitrary," said Hallie Kuperman, who owns the Century Ballroom in Seattle.
Her venue was charged nearly a quarter million dollars in back taxes, but negotiated it down to about $90,000, she said. Supporters of her business were raising money to pay the tax bill.
JUDGE SIDES WITH BACKCOUNTRY SKIERS IN USE LAWSUIT: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge in Idaho says the U.S. Forest Service broke the law when it didn't craft rules to govern snowmobile travel, handing powder-loving backcountry skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts a victory that could extend to national forests nationwide.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush ruled Friday that the Forest Service must go back to work on its 2005 Travel Management Rule and draw up regulations designating areas of use and non-use by all off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, on national forest lands.
The Idaho-based Winter Wildlands Alliance had argued the agency's decision to allow individual forests to exempt snowmobiles from the rules was illegal and has created conflicts between snowmobiles and backcountry skiers.
The judge agreed with the skier's group, ordering the Forest Service to write a new rule consistent with his decision within 180 days. The decision will lead to changes in national forests in Idaho, but could also prompt national forests across the West and other states to revisit its off-road policies.
NJ GOVERNOR SIGNS BAN ON TANNING BED USE BY MINORS: TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed legislation banning anyone under 17 from using a tanning bed and anyone under 14 from getting a spray tan a year after the state's Tanning Mom became a tabloid sensation.
The legislation was developed after a northern Jersey woman accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth was charged last year with child endangerment. The deeply tanned woman became known as the Tanning Mom, but a grand jury declined to indict her in February.