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AP - Oregon-Northwest

Here is the latest Washington news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. PST

SEATTLE (AP) — Drivers, skiers, university students and beach-goers are all facing widespread warnings about forceful winds, snow dumps and freezing temperatures as the region’s first major winter storm of the season hits the Pacific Northwest. Both the Seattle and Portland metro areas are bracing for a possible round of snow in the coming days that will be coupled with below-freezing temperatures. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for the Seattle metro area in effect Sunday afternoon through evening, forecasting between a trace to 4 inches of snow. Meteorologists also predict snow for Portland by Wednesday.

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Federal authorities suggested the environmental impact of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline in southern Oregon would be minimal. They say the contentious project wouldn’t jeopardize protected species or adversely change their critical habitat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a new study that the affects of the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas terminal and a 230-mile feeder pipeline along Coos Bay would be short term or on a small scale. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s staff analysis announced in November said the project would likely have an adverse affect on wildlife.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A right-wing lawmaker from Washington state says that a recent report that branded him a ‘’domestic terrorist” is a lie and that he will continue to represent the people of his district. Democrats and some Republicans have called for state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, to resign in the wake of a December report involving anti-government activities. Shea has refused to resign. He issued a statement on Friday saying he will be in the chamber when the state House convenes its 2020 session on Monday. The report was done by the Rampart Group, a Seattle-based private investigation agency.

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Police Department’s civilian watchdog has found that an officer’s ruse in a 2018 hit-and-run case contributed to the driver’s suicide. The Office of Police Accountability said that to get the suspect to turn himself in, the officer told one of the suspect’s friends that the crash left a woman in critical condition. In reality, it was a fender-bender with no injuries. The man became despondent over the possibility he killed someone and soon died by suicide. The OPA said the use of the ruse “shocked the conscience.” The officer was suspended for six days without pay.

The Associated Press