Archive for the ‘Northwest News’ Category

Representative Kilmer speaks out on local flood insurance rates

February 10, 2014 Comments off

Representative Derek Kilmer spoke in Washington DC on preventing flood insurance rate hikes and the impacts these new rates could have locally.

Kilmer said that these rates are especially drastic in our communities.

The flood insurance program was created to help protect property owners from risk due to flooding.

Over 200 people attended a public meeting last week to learn more about local flood rates following new maps for flood zones.

Ted Perkins a regional engineer for FEMA gave a presentation on all of the changes to local flood maps and said that under the new guidelines, any home that has at least a 1% chance of being impacted by a flood is in a flood zone.

After multiple questions from upset citizens, especially those who are receiving flood insurance rates that are as high as their monthly house payments, Debrah Farmer, FEMA Region 10 Insurance Program Specialist, said that FEMA is not making these rates. They are acting on what congress put in action.

Kilmer is a co-sponsor of the House bill to amend or delay current changes to the FEMA laws.

Kilmer said that the Senate has already moved on approving the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, and the House should do the same.


President Obama to increase minimum wage

January 28, 2014 Comments off

The White House says President Barack Obama will sign an executive order setting the minimum wage for workers under new federal contracts at $10.10 an hour. The president will announce the increase in his State of the Union address.

The increase will not affect existing federal contracts, only new ones.

The current national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, $9.32 for Washington State.

Obama will renew his call for Congress to increase the national minimum wage to $10.10 and tie future increases to inflation.

Increasing the wage for federal contractors does not require congressional action.

The White House says those who would benefit from the executive order include federally contracted janitors and construction workers as well as workers in military bases who wash dishes, serve food and do laundry.


Categories: Northwest News

Suicide study released by Department of Health

January 27, 2014 Comments off

In 2011, 992 Washington residents lost their lives as a result of intentional self-harm. In response to this epidemic, the Washington legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2366 mandating the Washington State Department of Health conduct a study assessing the effect of suicide education has on suicide assessment, identification, referral, and treatment practices in various healthcare settings.

These findings were published and presented to the legislature late last week.

Department of Health research study pursuant to ESHB 2366.



Categories: Northwest News

Murder suspect NOT from Humptulips

January 14, 2014 Comments off

After seeing a murder suspect’s tattoos showing his love for Washington, including the state outline and WA on his cheekbones and “SPOKANE” across his forehead, KIRO reporter Dori Monson tweeted “My only regret is that this guy isn’t from Humptulips”.

Brandon Mellon, 26, was arrested after he accidentally shot himself when he reportedly thought he was getting pulled over by police.

Police say investigators had determined Mellon was a person of interest in a fatal shooting in Spokane and they were looking for him.

Mellon was taken to a hospital in Portland in critical condition.

The Spokesman-Review reports he’s under guard and will be returned to Spokane for the homicide case.

Murder suspect Brandon Mellon, 26, has several Washington tattoos. (Image via courtesy the Multnomah County Sheriff's office via The Daily Mail)

Murder suspect Brandon Mellon, 26, has several Washington tattoos. (Image via courtesy the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office via The Daily Mail)

Residents still have time to register for health insurance

December 27, 2013 Comments off

Did you miss the deadline for health insurance coverage in January? According to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, you still have time to get covered by February.

The deadline to apply for medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act for coverage that starts in January was December 23. If you did start your application, you have until January 15 to select a plan and pay your premium for coverage back-dating to January 1.

If you were unable to do that, open enrollment closes March 31. You can still obtain coverage starting in February or March, depending on when you sign up. For February coverage, the deadline to enroll is January 23.

If you qualify for a subsidy or Medicaid, you should obtain medical insurance through the Washington Healthplanfinder, our state’s health benefit exchange. If you do not qualify for a subsidy, you can buy a health plan directly from an insurance

List of the plans that are available in Washington.

Tests being done on shellfish following Chinese ban

December 27, 2013 Comments off

State health officials are in the process of testing shellfish samples following toxicity concerns that prompted China to ban West Coast shellfish.

KOMO reports that Washington state Department of Health technicians are now testing 36 shellfish samples.

Officials have already shut down commercial geoduck clam harvesting on 135 acres of state-owned aquatic land. Earlier this month, the state learned that Chinese authorities detected arsenic in a shipment from Washington. The state Health Department had traced that shipment back to clams harvested in October by the Puyallup Tribe in Poverty Bay.

The China import ban is creating a hardship for the state’s shellfish industry, since that country is a major market for Washington harvesters.

Adult geoduck

Categories: Northwest News

Speed kills, according to Washington State Patrol

December 26, 2013 Comments off

For decades, the Washington State Patrol have said “speed kills.” There is a new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and little has changed: speed still kills.

Although traffic fatalities are dropping overall, excessive speed remains a leading cause of preventable deaths. Nationally, about a third of US traffic fatalities are linked to speeding, and that holds true in Washington. Of the 437 people who died in traffic in 2012, 159 of those deaths included speed as a contributing factor.

“Speeding deaths are entirely preventable,’” said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. “They result from the decision to speed. That decision creates risk for not only the speeding driver, but everyone else on the road with them.”

NHTSA’s report, released last week, has other troubling news: even though 91-percent of those surveyed agreed that people need to slow down, they’re apparently thinking of other people. More than a quarter of those surveyed admit speeding themselves, often “without thinking.”

“Speed causes some collisions, and makes others worse,” Batiste said. “It turns what should be fender-benders into fatals.”

Why do people speed? NHTSA’s survey found the most common reason is that they’re running late for an event or appointment.

In a news release sent last week, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “We all have places we need to go, but it’s never the right decision to put ourselves, our families and others in harm’s way to get there faster.”

Chief Batiste echoed that sentiment.

“Just leave earlier,” he said. “There’s no point in arriving at a play, or ball game, or other fun event all stressed out from traffic. If you speed, you put yourself at risk of not arriving at all.”

Slow Sign

Criminal with Grays Harbor ties could see 3 strikes

December 12, 2013 Comments off

Douglas County prosecutors are seeking life in prison under Washington’s “three strikes” law for a convicted child molester and heroin addict with Grays Harbor ties, now suspected of burglary.

The Wenatchee World reports that 46 year old Scott Allen Mitchell was arrested Nov. 22 in East Wenatchee as police investigated a burglary where a flatscreen TV, seven fishing rods, one rifle and two shotguns were taken. Also missing was the homeowner’s truck and the fishing boat it was towing; both were later recovered in a parking lot with the stolen firearms left inside.

Police said Mitchell confessed to the burglary, as well as to heroin addiction. He was previously convicted of first-degree child molestation in Grays Harbor County in 1997, and of first-degree robbery in King County in 1985. Douglas County deputy prosecutor Eric Biggar filed notice Friday that he would prosecute Mitchell for the burglary under the state’s Persistent Offender Accountability Act, which would lead to a sentence of life imprisonment upon conviction.

The act, also called the “three strikes” law, carries a life term without parole for those convicted of their third “most serious offense,” a category that includes major felonies such as Mitchell’s prior crimes.

Mitchell also faces charges in Chelan County of unlawful delivery of heroin, after police said he sold drugs to an informant; and possession of pseudoephedrine, after allegedly buying more than 10 grams of the controlled cold remedy at five pharmacies in less than an hour. The substance, used to synthesize methamphetamine, is limited in Washington to 3.6 grams purchased per day.

Mitchell remains housed in the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on $150,000 bond. His trial date has not been set.


3 Washington residents are now Rhodes Scholars

November 25, 2013 Comments off

The Rhodes Trust says 32 U.S. men and women have been named Rhodes Scholars and will enter Oxford University next October.

The winners were selected from 857 applicants endorsed by 327 different colleges and universities. The scholarships, announced early Sunday, provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the prestigious university in England.

Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physical vigor, among other attributes.

The value of the scholarships averages about $50,000 per year.

The American students will join an international group of scholars selected from 14 other jurisdictions around the world. Approximately 80 scholars are selected annually.

Washington Rhodes Scholars
Katherine Elida Warren, Bainbridge Island, Wash., Harvard
Suzanna Marie Fritzberg, Lake Forest Park, Wash., Yale
Andrew Scott Lea, Richland, Wash., Harvard

Categories: Northwest News

No new E. coli reported in WA from recalled food

November 13, 2013 Comments off

The Washington state Health Department says there have been no new cases of E. coli linked to ready-to-eat salads and sandwiches made by a California company and sold through stores in Washington.

Spokesman Tim Church says officials hope there won’t be more than the three cases initially reported in Washington. Nearly two-dozen were reported in California.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says Glass Onion Catering of Richmond, Calif., recalled more than 90 tons of salads and sandwiches that were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6.

Glass Onion

Categories: Northwest News
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