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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Latest Washington news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. PST


Searchers find third body buried by Idaho avalanche

Searchers have found a third body buried by an avalanche at an Idaho ski resort, and they confirmed it is a person who was reported missing on Wednesday. Tuesday’s avalanche at the Silver Mountain Resort killed two other people and injured four. Searchers in a helicopter spotted the missing person’s body on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office has identified two of the dead as 58-year-old Carl Humphreys of Liberty Lake, Washington, and 46-year-old Scott Parsons of Spokane Valley, Washington. Avalanche survivor Bill Fuzak says he knew there was nothing he could do but wait and pray. 


Lawmakers: Inslee’s homelessness plan unlikely to pass

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Top lawmakers say Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to use hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s emergency budget reserve to combat Washington’s homelessness crisis was unlikely to pass the Legislature. Last month Inslee said he wants to spend more than $300 million from the state’s rainy day fund to add 2,100 shelter beds and provide other help to people without shelter. Sen. Majority Leader Andy Billig said Thursday the applauded the governor for making the issue a priority, but added he wasn’t sure there were the votes for Inslee’s idea. The Legislature convenes in Olympia on Monday. 


DHS reviewing reports of Iranian-Americans delayed at border

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle congresswoman says the Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights office will investigate reports that travelers of Iranian descent were singled out for extra scrutiny as they crossed the border from Canada into Washington last weekend. Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal said Thursday she had received assurances the matter is being reviewed and that the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties would send investigators to Washington. Civil rights groups and lawmakers have been demanding information following reports that dozens of Iranian-Americans were detained for up to 11 hours at the border crossing in Blaine, Washington.


Facebook cable plan hits resistance in Oregon coastal town

TIERRA DEL MAR, Ore. (AP) — A county board in Oregon has voted in favor of a project that’s pitting residents of a tiny town against one of the world’s biggest tech companies. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to allow Facebook to use a beachfront lot in Tierra del Mar to build a landing spot for a trans-Pacific fiber optic cable. Residents worry vibrations from drilling for the cable landing will damage septic systems and foundations of some of the town’s roughly 200 homes. They say Tierra del Mar is zoned for residential use and worry the project will pave the way for other commercial ventures. Residents say they plan to appeal the decision to a state board.  


Officer sues Seattle claiming toxic chemicals sickened him

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer who claims he has suffered health problems since being exposed to toxic chemicals during the cleanup of a homeless camp has sued the city. The Seattle Times reports Officer Timothy Gifford filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court Jan. 3. Gifford contends he was exposed to high concentrations of toxic PCBs while he worked on a city Navigation Team to remove an unsanctioned homeless encampment on Jan. 8, 2019. Months later, Seattle Public Utilities discovered high levels of PCB contamination on the city-owned site where the camp was located. A spokesman for City Attorney Pete Holmes said their office intends to investigate the claims brought in the lawsuit and will defend the city.


$1.3M air pollution fine issued to Gorge aluminum recycler

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $1.3 million fine to an aluminum recycler in The Dalles for violating air pollution regulations. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the fine, issued to Hydro Extrusion USA, represents the largest ever issued by the agency for an air quality violation and the second largest in the agency’s history. State compliance and enforcement manager Kieran O’Donnell says DEQ found Hydro Extrusion operated with flagrant disregard for the rules and conditions of its air quality permit. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In April, inspectors found that the company, which is owned by Norway-based Norsk Hydro, had been improperly melting down coated aluminum. 


Man sentenced for selling drugs that killed 2 people

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — A 29-year-old Mount Vernon man was sentenced to over eight years in prison for selling the drugs that killed two people in April 2018. The Skagit Valley Herald reports Justin O’Brien Miller pleaded guilty in December to two counts of controlled substance homicide for selling fentanyl-laced pills to 18-year-old Garrett Arendse and 28-year-old Rebecca Doyle. He also pleaded guilty to two other drug-related charges and unlawful possession of a firearm. Skagit County Superior Court Judge David Svaren sentenced Miller Wednesday to the maximum allowed under state law. 


Seattle Mayor: City-owned buildings to get off fossil fuels

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says Seattle will no longer use fossil fuels like natural gas to heat, cool and cook in new and substantially altered city-owned buildings and will come up with a plan by 2021 to transition all city-owned buildings to clean electric systems over time. Durkan included those directives in a “Green New Deal” executive order Wednesday. Neither the new KeyArena nor the Seattle Aquarium expansion pavilion planned for construction will be covered by the city’s new fossil-fuel ban, however, because the projects are underway. Both will be included in the city’s longer-term electrification plans. There’s no deadline yet for all city buildings to be fossil-fuel free.


1 skier still missing after deadly avalanche at Idaho resort

KELLOGG, Idaho (AP) — One person remains missing at an Idaho resort near where an avalanche on Tuesday killed two skiers and injured four others. The Silver Mountain Resort near the town of Kellogg was closed Wednesday to focus resources on the search. The resort says it received a call Wednesday morning from a concerned family member of the missing skier. Resort officials say the ski patrol, aided by dog units, conducted a search and has not found the missing skier. The avalanche happened Tuesday on Wardner Peak, an area of the resort where the ski runs are rated at the highest difficulty level. 


Former Bainbridge principal pleads not guilty to molestation

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A former longtime associate principal at Bainbridge High School has pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges in Kitsap County Superior Court. The Kitsap Sun reports prosecutors in December charged Dean Fritts of Bainbridge Island with two counts of first-degree child molestation. He entered not guilty pleas earlier this month, was released without bail and ordered to have no contact with the minors involved. Court documents say the charges came after two minors told investigators of a pair of inappropriate touching incidents that were estimated to have taken place in 2015 and 2016. 

The Associated Press