Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders, as well as laws that will make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care. Inslee m…
A Washington state jury on Wednesday awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of a net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised — an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. About 2…
U.S. health regulators have ordered vaping company Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. It's the biggest blow yet to the embattled company that is widely blamed for sparking a surge in teen vaping. The announcement Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration is part of a …
A lawsuit filed against the Washington State Patrol official responsible for the state’s breath test machines used to measure the intoxication of drunken-driving suspects claims she violated the rights of suspects who had their licenses revoked. The lawsuit follows a ruling last week that ba…
Starting July 1, the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds will be banned in Washington state. Importing, manufacturing and distributing them will be outlawed, too. The only magazines allowed for sale and importing will be those with a maximum capacity of 10 cartridges under …
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is now among a growing number of people calling for elected Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to resign. The calls for the 78-year-old Democrat to step down come after the Northwest News Network reported Wednesday that Kreidler’s office had fired employee …
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to investigate whether national retail chains and online sellers have raised specialized infant formula prices during the current shortage, says Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
An abortion rights protest in Portland, Oregon, turned destructive over the weekend, with some people breaking windows on businesses and vehicles and scrawling graffiti. Portland Police say no one was immediately arrested because they did not have the resources to intervene. The event began with a gathering of about 200 people at a park on Saturday before a group of about 60 of them — most dressed in black — marched down a street and smashed windows on banks, coffee shops, a Portland school van and a Tesla, while vandalizing a center that provides services to pregnant people. Police said the damage occurred over a period of about 35 minutes.
Police in Eugene say 10 people were arrested during a Friday night protest following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. The arrests were mostly for disorderly conduct, Portland television station KOIN reported. The Eugene Police Department says the protest started as a gathering near an anti-abortion-focused pregnancy center and grew to about 75 people. The police department said some protesters blocked a bridge and threw smoke bombs or fought with officers, who responded by firing non-lethal pepper balls at the crowd. The protest eventually dispersed.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within his state's borders, as well as laws that will make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care. Inslee made the announcement during a news conference Saturday morning, saying the right to an abortion in Washington should not depend on which political party holds the majority of seats in the state Legislature. Inslee, who is a Democrat, also said he would ask legislators to strengthen privacy laws and enact new laws that will bar law enforcement agencies from assisting any other states that are investigating alleged violations of anti-abortion laws.
Authorities are warning recreationists to be wary of risky waterways as hot weather hits part of the Pacific Northwest. The Statesman-Journal reports the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for most of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington state through Sunday. After an abnormally cool and wet spring, people are expected to head outdoors in droves. But officials say rivers are running higher and colder than normal, making conditions more hazardous than swimmers, boaters and tubers may expect. Marion County Deputy Dave Zahn says people should be aware that rivers are not at summer water levels. He says the North Santiam River has dangerous log jams in places and swift, cold water.
Seattle has started building a new pedestrian bridge that will connect Pike Place Market to the downtown waterfront. The Seattle Times reports the bridge called “Overlook Walk,” will stretch above Alaskan Way, with one arm descending to a new waterfront promenade and another arm extending onto the roof of a new Seattle Aquarium pavilion. The bridge, slated to open in 2025, will include an elevator in addition to stairs. The space will serve as a sort of “elevated park” with terraced landscaping, expansive Elliott Bay views, concert seating, new cafe, slides and other play elements. The project is part of a redevelopment of Seattle’s downtown waterfront after the 2019 removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
A man accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy in southwestern Washington is facing additional charges in connection with the 2021 shooting. The Columbian reports 27-year-old Guillermo Raya Leon of Salem, Oregon, was arraigned in Clark County Superior Court Thursday on amended information in the death of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown. Raya Leon pleaded not guilty to possessing a stolen firearm, trafficking in stolen property, burglary and theft of a motor vehicle. He previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree aggravated murder and another count of possession of a stolen firearm. Investigators say Raya Leon admitted to shooting Brown while the detective was seated in an unmarked police SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex.
Prosecutors say a former employee of Washington state’s Employment Security Department has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies for exploiting his employment for personal enrichment and fraudulently distributing at least $360,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits. Seattle U.S. Attorney Nick Brown says Reyes De La Cruz III, of Moses Lake, pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes in which he personally enriched himself by at least $130,000. Court records say De La Cruz was hired to help the Employment Security Department deal with the crush of filings for pandemic unemployment benefits. The plea agreement says De La Cruz will face around six years in prison when sentenced in September. He has remained in federal custody since his 2021 arrest.
A Longview, Washington grain terminal will pay nearly $1 million after settling a lawsuit with the Columbia Riverkeeper that claimed the terminal operated without necessary permits meant to monitor river pollution. Export Grain Terminal operates a grain terminal out of the Port of Longview. It will pay Seeding Justice $715,000 to benefit water quality projects after it settled with Columbia Riverkeeper in the U.S. District Court. It will also pay $220,000 to cover the Riverkeeper’s legal costs. The lawsuit claims EGT violated the Clean Water Act by not getting an industrial storm water permit that would have required it to monitor and report discharges from its facility.
A Washington state jury on Wednesday awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of a net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised — an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. About 250,000 Atlantic salmon escaped into the Salish Sea when the net pen owned by Cooke Aquaculture collapsed. Cooke paid a bounty of $30 for each salmon recovered by the tribe’s fishers — $1.3 million in all. The Lummi Nation argued that while the fishers had been compensated, the company had not reimbursed the tribal government for responding to the spill.
The Oregon Department of Human Services is clarifying a proposed rule change related to child abuse investigations after receiving blowback. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports despite prior statements to the contrary, agency officials say they are not trying to narrow the type of abuse records that can be accessed by the public. ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht said their previous statements and communication about the proposed rule change were inaccurate. The agency said instead of trying to narrow the type of abuse records for children who are harmed outside the home, they are merely codifying current practice, which is to not release child abuse investigations that are in progress.
U.S. health regulators have ordered vaping company Juul to pull its electronic cigarettes from the market. It's the biggest blow yet to the embattled company that is widely blamed for sparking a surge in teen vaping. The announcement Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration is part of a sweeping regulatory review of e-cigarettes, which faced little regulation until recently. Since last fall, the FDA has greenlighted a few e-cigarettes. To stay on the market, manufacturers must show their products help reduce the harm of smoking for adults, without appealing to kids. The FDA said Juul’s application didn’t include enough information to evaluate any potential risks.
A lawsuit filed against the Washington State Patrol official responsible for the state’s breath test machines used to measure the intoxication of drunken-driving suspects claims she violated the rights of suspects who had their licenses revoked. The lawsuit follows a ruling last week that barred breath tests from being used against drunken-driving suspects in Kitsap County courts. The lawsuit filed Wednesday claims state toxicologist Fiona Couper filed false statements vouching for the legality of the machines and “deprived the plaintiff of due process.” It seeks to be certified as a class action.
Police say officers arrested a convicted sex offender in southern Oregon after a child was sexually touched at a YMCA swimming pool. The Grants Pass Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to a report of a sex offense on Monday involving a 6-year-old girl. Police say YMCA staff helped identify the person involved as Rex McCurdy, a registered sex offender from California. Officers arrested 66-year-old McCurdy Wednesday when he came back to the YMCA. McCurdy was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
A federal civil rights lawsuit alleges two southern Oregon police officers used excessive force against a man who fled from a vehicle stop and was shot with a Taser while standing in a creek. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the lawsuit says two Eagle Point officers fired their stun guns at Jonathon J. Wolf. The suit says that caused him to fall in the water and hit his head on a rock, knocking him unconscious. The encounter happened June 21, 2021, when police stopped a car in which Wolf was riding. Wolf ran as police tried to arrest him on a parole violation warrant. Eagle Point city administrator Aaron Prunty said he hadn’t read the suit and couldn’t comment.
An Everett man has been arrested and accused of shooting four people in separate incidents on Sunday and Monday. The Daily Herald reports 25-year-old Shane Baker was arrested Tuesday and has had bail set at $5 million. It wasn't immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on his behalf. Around 9 a.m. Sunday, a man was shot near an Everett intersection. Police say he remained in “stable, but critical condition” Tuesday. On Monday three men were shot on Lexington Avenue in Everett. Two of the men died and the third gave police information about the alleged shooter. Police say Baker was driving a stolen pickup truck and had shot people who questioned him about it.
President Joe Biden has urged Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months and urged states to do the same at the local level. But both the Democratic governors of Washington and Oregon on Wednesday indicated they were unlikely to pursue a similar policy - even if the federal gas tax is eventually temporarily halted. At 49 cents a gallon, Washington’s tax is behind only California’s and Pennsylvania’s rate and almost triple the federal government’s 18 cents. Oregon’s gas tax is 38 cents a gallon. Inslee's office said a gas tax suspension would benefit oil companies while pausing revenue that goes to improving infrastructure.
An Oregon State Police trooper and Clackamas County sheriff’s detective fatally shot 24-year-old Derrick Dewayne Clark after a traffic stop and pursuit Saturday. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports in an initial statement, the sheriff’s office said the shooting happened after an attempted traffic stop and chase that ended in Milwaukie. The Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday afternoon that the officers tried to stop Clark because they suspected he was driving under the influence. The statement says Clark drove his car into a ditch, police told Clark to show his hands and he got out of the car with a handgun. Police shot him twice. The shooting is under investigation by nearby police departments.
An Oregon man who illegally imported and exported hundreds of live scorpions was sentenced in federal court for violating the Lacey Act. U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon said Darren Drake was sentenced Wednesday to two years’ federal probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine. Court documents say in 2017 and 2018, Drake imported and exported scorpions to Germany without an import-export license from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One intercepted parcel was falsely labeled as chocolates. Drake also illegally mailed or received several hundred live scorpions from other U.S. states, including Michigan and Texas. Drake pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.
Revenue projections for Washington state increased by about $1.46 billion more than expected through the current two-year budget period. Updated numbers released Wednesday by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council show that projected revenue collections for the 2021-2023 budget exceed what had been forecast in February. And projections for the next two-year budget cycle that ends in mid-2025 increased by about $632 million. Revenues for the current budget cycle that ends mid-2023 are now projected to be nearly $63.2 billion. And projected revenues for the next two-year budget cycle that starts July 1, 2023 are projected to be almost $66 billion.
A federal judge has sentenced a man who threw Molotov cocktails at police in Portland, Oregon, during mass protests to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors say Malik Fard Muhammad traveled from Indiana to Oregon and in September 2020 threw Molotov cocktails at police, broke windows in buildings, and ran from police with a loaded handgun. Assistant Federal Public Defender Fidel Cassino-DuCloux said Muhammad has been diagnosed with bipolar and post traumatic stress disorders and has been on medication since his federal arrest. Muhammad’s federal sentence will run concurrently with a 10-year sentence in state court for riot, attempted murder and other charges stemming from his actions at the racial injustice demonstrations.
A 55-year-old California man and his 10-year-old son were identified as the victims who died in last week’s fatal rafting incident on the Nooksack River. The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office says John Coleman of Berkeley, California, and his son died when they were swept downriver after a raft overturned on the North Fork of the Nooksack River Tuesday, June 14. At about 3 p.m. Tuesday, a commercially operated river raft with four customers and a guide flipped. One of the bodies was located about a half-mile downstream. The other was not found until the next day.
Five years ago, two Seattle police officers responded to a report of a burglary at an apartment complex. The caller was a 30-year-old Black mother, Charleena Lyles, who had long lived with mental illness and was known to police. Within minutes, the officers, Jason Anderson and Steven McNew, shot and killed Lyles. They claimed she cornered them in her kitchen, brandishing a small knife. Lyles, who was four months pregnant, was shot seven times as her children watched. On Tuesday, after years of delays, the circumstances of Lyles’ death were considered by a seven-member coroner’s jury — a long-promised airing of the circumstances surrounding her death.
An appellate court judge has upheld Seattle’s payroll tax, affirming a decision made in King County Superior Court last year. The Seattle Times reports in an opinion published Tuesday, the Division I Court of Appeals deemed Seattle’s JumpStart tax lawful. The lawsuit was filed by the Chamber of Commerce in 2020, arguing the tax is illegal. Companies with annual payrolls over $7 million are taxed under the measure based on their pay to employees making over $150,000 per year. In 2021, the tax brought $231 million in revenue to the city. The chamber in a statement Tuesday did not indicate whether it planned to appeal the decision.