Author: Associated Press

9 Western WA counties now recommend mask use indoors

Health officials in more than a half-dozen western Washington counties are now recommending mask-wearing in indoor public spaces regardless of vaccine status because of a rise in COVID-19 cases and the highly infectious delta variant.

Confusion besets new police reform laws in Washington state

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is embarking on a massive experiment in police reform and accountability following the racial justice protests that erupted after George Floyd’s murder last year, as nearly a dozen laws took effect Sunday. But two months…

Court ruling halts North Idaho logging project

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal court has temporarily halted a northern Idaho logging project in grizzly bear habitat following a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service violated environmental laws. U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Friday in…

Citing delta variant, King County urges indoor masks

SEATTLE (AP) — The top public health official in Washington state’s most populous county is asking everyone to wear masks in indoor public spaces because of the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant — even if they have been vaccinated.…

Sheriff’s deputy killed in Vancouver, 2 detained

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in in Vancouver, Washington on Friday evening, authorities said. Two persons of interest have been detained and authorities are searching for a third person of interest, according to Vancouver police.…

Body of missing hiker found near Mount St. Helens

KELSO, Wash. (AP) — Authorities have found the body of an Army lieutenant reported missing near Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state. Hikers found 1st Lt. Brian Yang, 25, on a ridge below them in the Mt. Whittier area…

Washington AG rejects opioids settlement, wants trial

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday said he has formally rejected the state’s proposed part of a $26 billion settlement with the nation’s three largest drug distribution companies and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson related to…

Idaho lieutenant governor keeps focus on vaccine mandates

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, acting governor with Gov. Brad Little out of the state, on Tuesday sent what she called a formal inquiry to the director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare concerning private…

Northwest heat wave: Death toll reaches at least 112

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities say last month’s Pacific Northwest heat wave that toppled all-time temperature records killed at least 112 people in Washington state. KUOW reports the Department of Health updated its tally on Monday, which caused the death toll…

Officials say shellfish illnesses linked to heat wave

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington health officials are warning of a spike in shellfish-related illnesses believed to be connected to last month’s heat wave. The Washington Department of Health has reported 52 cases of vibriosis so far in July, surpassing the…

Idaho governor against interfering in vaccine requirements

TROY, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers in Idaho should not reconvene to consider legislation to prevent employers from requiring workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations, the governor said. “I need to know more about it, (but) my default position is that it’s…

Officials: Major understaffing in Idaho prisons raises risks

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Prisons in Idaho are so understaffed that correctional officers often end up working mandatory 16-hour shifts, leaving them just eight hours to sleep, eat and see their families before returning to duty, a prison official said.…

Wildfires in US West threaten parched Native American lands

BLY, Ore. (AP) — Fierce wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are threatening Native American lands where tribes already are struggling to conserve water and preserve traditional hunting grounds amid a historic drought in the U.S. West. Blazes in Oregon and…