BLM Announces Strategy to Conserve Greater Sage-Grouse

A new range-wide conservation strategy is being developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the Greater Sage-Grouse that is native to land through out Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Canada, Washington and more. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's profile of the bird shows that the historic Greater Sage-Grouse range spread through out the southeast portion of Washington State. Now it's current range is limited to two small portions of central Washington. They only occupy 56% of their historical range. BLM has recognized that their current management is failing to conserve the Greater Sage-Ground on public land and that their plan is long overdue.The new BLM strategy emphasizes a cooperative approach and provides a framework to advance efforts to implement timely conservation measures for sage-grouse and its habitat. Their goal is to provide long-term sage-grouse conservation, habitat protection and species improvement that would make adding the species to the Endangered Species Act unnecessary in the upcoming years. 

Moses Lake Shooting Suspect Arrested

Anthony Jack Aswell, wanted for the July 6 shooting of Christopher McCarrell in Moses Lake, was arrested by Moses Lake Police Officers during a traffic stop around noon today about 10 miles east of Moses Lake. Aswell, 23, was the passenger in a 1996 Honda Accord traveling in Moses Lake when he was spotted by a Moses Lake Police Officer. Officers followed the Accord eastbound on Interstate 90, and once enough officers were assembled to conduct a high-risk traffic stop, they pulled over the Accord. Aswell was taken into custody without incident.Aswell is being lodged at the Grant County Jail pending arraignment on a charge of first-degree assault."From the start of this investigation, we had two things which helped us quickly put Aswell behind bars: information from witnesses and the public; and teamwork from all our local law enforcement agencies," said Sheriff Tom Jones. "We appreciate everyone who helped us track down and arrest this suspected shooter."

What To Do With The Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on changes to its plan for pygmy rabbit recovery in the Columbia Basin. The changing plan calls for a move away from a captive breeding program and toward releasing wild pygmy rabbits from other areas. Public comments will be accepted until Aug. 15 on the proposed amendment to the 2007 draft recovery plan.

Moses Lake City Manager Calls Backyard Animal Keeping a Fad

City Manager, Joe Gavinski says "backyard animal keeping" appears to be a fad. Moses Lake City Council decided to defer a decision on allowing residents to raise chickens and rabbits. The ban on prohibiting "the keeping, permitting or harboring" of fowl, pigeons or rabbits will continue.

Man Injured In Moses Lake Shooting

The Grant County Sheriff's Department says a man was injured early Wednesday morning in a shooting at a mobile home park. The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. at the Grove Terrace Mobile Home Park at 9998 Maple Drive. Public Information Officer, Kyle Foreman says a friend brought the shooting victim to a local hospital. The extent of his injuries is not known. Investigators have been at the mobile home park for most of Wednesday morning. They have not released any information about the shooter.

Body Of Missing Man Pulled From Moses Lake

The Grant County Sheriff's Office dive team recovered a body from Moses Lake Wednesday afternoon later identified as a man who went missing last weekend.The sheriff's office says it pulled the body out near the North Shore Drive area.The body was spotted in the water around 3;20 p.m.

Grant County Awarded Over $200,000 in Grants

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board has released a list of grants awarded to various Washington State Counties for 2011. Some counties received over $4 million. Some received less than $50,000. Statewide, the board awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to 234 recreation and conservation projects in 35 of the state's 39 counties. More than 400 projects were sent to the Board requesting about $200 million. The grants were reviewed and ranked during the past year. While a few of the grants were awarded in March and May, the majority of them were awarded last week. Some grants cover multiple counties, but others are fine tuned for very specific purposes. Here's the list for Grant County:

Aircraft Crash near Moses Lake Injures Two

PRESS RELEASE - A student pilot and his instructor received minor injuries this morning when the ultralight aircraft they were flying crashed near Moses Lake. Around 9:20 a.m., 9-1-1 calls summoned emergency responders to County Road L-NE just east of Road 4-NE. Student pilot Samuel P. Clark, 58, of La Center, Wash., and instructor Daryl Jackson, 70, of Moses Lake, were flying Clark's ultralight aircraft when the engine experienced trouble. Clark and Jackson attempted to land in a wheat field. The aircraft impacted the ground and flipped onto its top. Fuel then spilled from the tank and ignited. The fire was confined to the aircraft and extinguished by Moses Lake and Grant County District #5 firefighters. Jackson received burns to his right arm. Clark received cuts and bruises. Both were treated at the scene, and Jackson was taken via private vehicle Samaritan Hospital. Clark declined further treatment. The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing the investigation.

Public Safety Notification: 911 Service Interruption

Press Release - The 9-1-1 telephone service for the Quincy, George and Crescent Bar areas of Grant County will experience a three-hour service interruption beginning around 11:59 p.m. Monday June 27 through 3:00 a.m. Tuesday June 28. The interruption is necessary to repair a damaged fiber optic communications line. During that three hour period, anyone needing emergency help from the police, fire department or ambulance is directed to call the Multi Agency Communications Center's non-emergency number, 509-762-1160. Citizens in the Quincy area may also drive to the fire station in Quincy, 1201 S. Central Avenue. Firefighters will be manning that station to assist the public.This temporary, scheduled interruption only affects the areas listed above. For further information, contact the Multi Agency Communications Center at 509-762-1901.

Grant County Unemployment Statistics

The Washington State Employment Security Department released their latest Washington State Employment Situation Report for May 2011. Overall, from April to May 2011, the state lost 700 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector was down 900 jobs and the public sector added 200 jobs over the month. The unemployment rate for Washington State has matched nation-wide rates. For May, 9.1% were unemployed. The biggest lost of employment happened in the wholesale trade sector. Statewide they lost 2,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector increased by 3,200 jobs.Grant County [Moses Lake Micropolitan Statistical Area] Unemployment Results:

Moses Lake Teen Gives Back To Community Through Scholarship Program

Rianne Jones of Moses Lake visited Woody's Song in Mobile, Ala. on Thursday, June 16 to interact with Autistic children in the Mobile area. Jones is currently in Mobile participating in the 54th Distinguished Young Women National Finals, a scholarship program that will award more than $140,000 in cash scholarships to its participants on June 23, 24 and 25. The recent Moses Lake High School graduate volunteered her time as part of the Be Your Best Self Day sponsored by the Junior League of Mobile. She and 15 of her fellow state representatives spent time playing with the children, learning more about Autism and helping the students with their math and reading skills while the remaining participants volunteered at other sites around the city."Be Your Best Self Day is an integral part of a participant's experience while in Mobile for National Finals," said Becky Jo Peterson, executive director of Distinguished Young Women. "Our program strives to inspire young women to go out and serve their communities in addition to bettering themselves. Through the Be Your Best Self program, we wish to create a generation of young women who engage in their communities through service to others."

Ephrata Crash Kills Child, Injures Three Others

One child was killed and three other persons were injured around 12:30 p.m. this afternoon when their car crashed near Ephrata, according to Grant County Sherrif's Office.Grant County Sheriff's Deputies, Grant County Fire District #13, the Ephrata Fire Department and AMR Ambulance were sent to Frey Road NW near County Road, just north of the Ephrata city limits.Initial reports show the Saturn four-door passenger car was travelling north on Frey Road NW when it failed to make a curve. The car struck and broke a telephone pole and rolled onto its roof.One juvenile female passenger was declared dead at the scene. Her body is in the custody of the Grant County Coroner and her identity is being withheld.Three other occupants of the car were injured. An adult female and a juvenile female were transported to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake. An adult male was transported by MedStar helicopter to an out of area hospital. The seriousness of their injuries is not yet known.The investigation is still underway by the Sheriff's Motor Traffic Unit.

Q Fever Outbreak

There's an investigation underway tonight into Q fever in Grant County. It's a bacterial disease primarily contracted from goats, sheep and cattle. Right now, two farms and six human cases are under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the Grant County Health Department and the Washington State Department of Health. Q fever is not passed from person to person. It's usually contracted from urine, feces and milk of infected cattle, goats, and sheep. The number of bacteria is highest in birthing fluids and after-birth, which means people are at greatest risk if they're around animals giving birth.

Police Report: Three Taken Into Custody for Armed Robbery

The victim had left his hotel room at the 400 block of Melva Lane, but when he returned, he was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint by three suspects. Moses Lake Police Officers responded at approximately 8:08 a.m. The suspects had already left with the victim's personal property. The victim sustained minor injuries and did not require medical attention.The three suspects were taken into custody and booked into the Grant County Jail. Frank E. Brown and Kenneth K. Krebs were booked for Robbery in the 1st degree and unlawful possession of a firearm in the 1st degree. Falisha A. Rose Hancock was booked into jail for robbery in the 1st degree.

Grant County Candidate Filing Statistics

Today is the last day in the State of Washington to file your candidacy for available positions. If you've ever had the slightest inkling of having your name displayed on row after row of yard signs on heavily traveled arterial, it's not too late! Just visit your county's election office online to file.The following statistics are from Thursday's final filing numbers. The current stats could be different and will change as Friday progresses. The original state wide numbers did not include King, Kitsap or Yakima county since they do not use the state's standard filing system. Those three counties were counted by hand and added in manually.3,145-ish candidates

Moses Lake Toddler Run Over By Food Van

A 20-month-old child has died after being run over by a mobile food service van Thursday night in Moses Lake.Around 8:45 p.m., Sheriff's Deputies, were dispatched to 9013 Bong Loop #A, in the Larson Subdivision north of Moses Lake.The preliminary investigation determined the mobile food service van, which was undergoing repairs, rolled backwards over the child. The child was taken by private vehicle to Samaritan Hospital where they were pronounced dead a short time later.

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson in Ephrata

In most scenarios of child drownings, the situations occured due to weak or no supervision, no barriers around pools and hot tubes, weak or not CPR skills, weak or no swimming ability and the lack of life jacket use. To combat these stats, water parks, pools and aquatic facilities around the world are hosting "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson" in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. They hope to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching kids to swim.The City of Ephrata and Safe Kids Grand County will be participating in this attempt by hosting a free swim lesson session from 7 to 8 a.m. at Ephrata's Splash Zone. They hope to have at least 25 children participate. Research shows that if a child doesn't learn to swim by the third grade, they likely never will.

Bad Hair Bandit Strikes Again In Moses Lake

The Bad Hair Bandit may have struck again, this time robbing a Moses Lake Sterling Savings bank on Tuesday.Moses Lake Police say a woman passed a robbery letter to the teller that said she was armed and wanted money. No weapon was ever shown. The woman then took off with money heading east through the parking lot toward Adler.The suspect is white and wore dark pants, a black hat and a light colored sweatshirt. Video from the bank shows the woman and police think she is the same robber, dubbed the Bad Hair Bandit, who robbed a Key Bank in Moses Lake about a month ago.

Moses Lakes Earns a 46 on Walk Score

Moses Lake earned a score of 46 according to Walk Score. They tied with western Washington cities, Auburn and Federal way. Only 14% of the city has a walking score of 70 or above. That's defined as "Very Walkable", most errands can be accomplished on foot. In general, the 46 means the city is "Car-Dependent" and only a few amenities are within walking distance. The walk score does not include topography or weather into its algorithm.

News Flash: It's Been A Cold, Soggy Spring in Moses Lake

They call Moses Lake "Washington's Great Escape", but residents couldn't  escape from the cool, wet Spring we've just slogged through in the Inland Northwest.  According to the National Weather Service in Spokane, Moses Lake just wrapped up it's 2nd wettest Spring on record (climatologists use March, April and May as "Spring" for record keeping purposes).  Grant County International Airport reported 3.23" of rain for the three-month period.  It was also the third COOLEST Spring on record in Moses Lake.  Records have been kept at the airport since 1947.

Greyhound Bus Burns In Moses Lake

A Greyhound Bus caught fire and burned at a gas station out on Kittleson Road early Wednesday afternoon.No one was injured.The fire was put out in about 5 minutes, but as you can see from the photo above, the bus was a total loss.

Sheriff's Deputies Investigate Suspicious Death

Grant County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of an adult woman in Soap Lake.Deputies were called to a home in the 400 block of Division St. South Sunday afternoon. They found an adult woman dead, and say in a press release that the "circumstances surrounding the death were suspicious." An autopsy is scheduled for this week.Grant County major crimes detectives are investigating. The Grant County coroner hasn't released the woman's identity and won't until next of kin are notified.

A Week in Washington D.C.

Barb Franz was one of two teachers from Washington State to be honored in Washington D.C. by President Barack Obama for their work in math and science. She's an kindergarten teacher at North Elementary in Moses Lake. We featured her earlier this month when she first learned of her award. It had been a long nomination process for her. Subtraction was the focus of her portfolio when she was nominated for the award in 2010.In an email, Barb Franz wrote, "The weeks events have inspired me to think outside my world of the kindergarten classroom. I have met inspirational, engaging and brilliant people. I have been challenged in new ways to reflect on and expand my current practice."