Author: Associated Press

Washington state governor OKs bill banning for-profit jails

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — One of the country’s largest for-profit, privately run immigration jails would be shut down by 2025 under a bill signed Wednesday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The measure approved by the Washington Legislature bans for-profit detention centers…

Idaho authorities seek help in search for 3 missing kids

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in Idaho are asking for help finding three missing children, including two who were last seen months ago. The Gem County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday night that investigators are looking for 17-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton,…

Yellowstone officials work to remove invasive fish species

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Park officials in Yellowstone National Park have reported efforts to protect threatened native cutthroat trout have been progressing, but concerns remain after officials discovered another invasive fish species. Yellowstone fisheries biologist Todd Koel said they…

Prosecutor says no criminal charges in jail starvation death

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho jailers watched as a mentally ill man starved to death, according to a newly released investigatory report, but a prosecutor says there isn’t enough evidence to justify criminal charges in the case. Lance Quick, 40,…

Audit: Unemployment fraud likely higher than $647 million

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The amount of fraudulent payments of unemployment benefits distributed in Washington state during the height of the coronavirus pandemic was likely higher than the $647 million identified by the Washington state Employment Security Department, according to…

Officials seek new tools to combat invasive giant hornets

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington State Department of Agriculture is moving forward with new rules that would give them more tools to combat the spread of invasive Asian giant hornets. The pests, first detected in the U.S. in Washington state…

Idaho lawmakers hear pitch to absorb three-fourths of Oregon

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers appeared intrigued but skeptical on Monday when pitched a plan to lop off about three-fourths of Oregon and add it to Idaho to create what would become the nation’s third-largest state geographically. Representatives of…

“Right to counsel” law advancing through Legislature

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A “right to counsel” measure that is getting closer to approval by the Legislature would make Washington the first state to ensure that low-income tenants have legal representation when faced with an eviction. The bill has passed both…

Biz groups ask governor not to roll some counties to Phase 2

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Nearly 70 state business organizations are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to delay for three weeks any decision to return some counties to more restrictive coronavirus standards, which would hurt businesses. Inslee has said he will announce…

Senate passes bill to prevent and fight wildfires

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state Senate has unanimously passed a bill to create a dedicated fund to prevent and fight wildfires in Washington. The bill, promoted by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, passed Friday in Olympia. House Bill…

Washington Legislature approves Juneteenth as state holiday

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Legislature has passed a measure that makes Juneteenth a legal state holiday. The measure making June 19 a state paid holiday passed the Democratic-led Senate on a bipartisan 47-1 vote and now heads…

4 UW students injured in bus crash awarded $1.4M

A jury has awarded four former marching band students at the University of Washington more than $1.4 million after they were injured in a bus crash on their way to a football competition with rival Washington State University.

Investigation into Benton sheriff witness tampering reopened

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The embattled Benton County sheriff in eastern Washington is under criminal investigation once again for allegedly forcing his estranged wife to recant her statements of abuse. The investigation by the Washington State Patrol comes 18 months…

Inslee to announce possible new COVID restrictions Monday

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee will announce Monday whether some counties in Washington state will have to roll back to Phase 2 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan because of rising cases. At a news conference Thursday Inslee…

Anti-government activist Bundy arrested at Idaho Statehouse

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy was arrested again Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of trespassing at the Idaho Statehouse. It’s the fourth time the man known for leading a 2016 armed standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge…

Washington Senate approves bill requiring “just cause” eviction

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Senate has approved a measure that would require landlords to provide a valid reason for ending certain leases with tenants. The bill advanced out of the Democratic-led chamber Thursday on a 28-21 vote over Republican objections,…

Official: COVID-19 variants likely spreading across Idaho

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Bureau of Laboratories Director Christopher Ball has said concerning coronavirus variants are likely spreading across the state, despite efforts to vaccinate residents. COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed are believed to be effective against the…