Longtime lawmaker Duane Berentson dies

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Longtime state legislator Duane Berentson, a former head of the Washington state Department of Transportation, has died.

Berentson was 84 and died Friday. Berentson, a Republican, served as the 40th Legislative District representative from 1962-1980.

While in the Legislature, Berentson served on the House Transportation Committee and in 1979 became co-speaker of the House with Democrat John Bagnariol when state House was split 49-49.

Berentson later served as the state Department of Transportation secretary for 12 years, ending in 1993.

Berentson was a star basketball player at Anacortes High School and also worked as a coach and a teacher of journalism and biology at Burlington-Edison High School. Nephew Steve Berentson told the Skagit Valley Herald that Duane Berentson instilled a love for journalism in himself and others.

Famed Katmai brown bears ready for season 2

KATMAI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska — Stars snarling at each other, mate-swapping, dominant males posturing and establishing their territory.

It’s not quite “Jersey Shore,” but these are among the highlights of the second season of an Internet reality show coming your way this week.

The stars are the brown bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve in remote Alaska. Eight web cams, an increase of five from last year, have been set up at various parts of the park to livestream the daily life and drama of the park’s famed bears. Social aspects also have been enhanced, with live web chats planned with rangers and scientists, and a new photo sharing feature.

“We know that Katmai is a cost-prohibitive place to visit so not a lot of people get the opportunity to come here,” park ranger Michael Fitz said. “We still want people to have an understanding of what Katmai is like.

Cory Monteith, star of hit show ‘Glee,’ found dead

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Cory Monteith, the heartthrob actor who became an overnight star as a high school quarterback-turned-singer in the hit TV series “Glee” but had battled addiction since his teenage years, was found dead of undisclosed causes in a hotel room, Vancouver police said. He was 31.

Police said Sunday that an autopsy is expected to take place Monday to determine the cause of death. Acting Vancouver Police Chief Doug LePard said late Saturday there was no indication of foul play.

The Canadian-born actor, who played Finn Hudson on the Fox TV series about a high school glee club, was found dead around noon Saturday in his room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Vancouver’s waterfront, according to police.

Monteith had openly talked about struggling with addiction since he was a teenager, saying he had a serious problem and took just “anything and everything.” He told Parade magazine in 2011 that he was “lucky to be alive.”

In April, Monteith checked himself in to a treatment facility for “substance addiction.” It was not his first time in rehab. He received treatment when he was 19.

Lea Michele, his “Glee” co-star and real-life girlfriend, told People magazine at the time that she loved and supported him and was proud he was seeking help.

Michele was requesting privacy after receiving news of Monteith’s death, said her representative, Molly Kawachi of ID-PR .

“We ask that everyone kindly respect Lea’s privacy during this devastating time,” Kawachi said in in an email to The Associated Press.

Monteith’s body was found by hotel staff who entered his room after he missed his check-out time, LePard said. Monteith had checked into the hotel on July 6.

“We do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death,” said British Columbia Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe. She said further tests would be needed to determine how Monteith died.

LePard said Monteith had been out with people earlier and that those people are being interviewed.

Video and electronic records from the hotel indicate Monteith returned to his room by himself early Saturday morning, and he was believed to be alone when he died, LePard said.

Lapointe said he had been dead for several hours by the time his body was found.

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