MISSING UTAH WOMAN-TRIAL
Jury: Washington state liable in Powell boys’ deaths
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A jury has found that Washington state officials were partially responsible for the deaths of missing Utah woman Susan Cox Powell’s children at the hands of their father. The News Tribune newspaper reported jurors on Friday awarded $98 million to the estates of Charlie and Braden Powell. Josh Powell was a suspect in the presumed killing of his wife in 2009 and living in Pierce County, Washington, in 2012, when he killed their two young sons Charlie and Braden and himself in an explosive house fire. The boys were visiting Josh Powell at his home on a supervised visit with a social worker when they were killed; Powell had locked the social worker outside.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MAKING RENT
Rent’s due, again: Monthly anxieties deepen as aid falls off
The coronavirus pandemic is entering a new month, meaning Americans struggling amid the economic fallout once again have to worry about paying their rent. Many who lost jobs months ago are already behind on payments. Now an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that helped many pay their bills is expiring. A federal moratorium on evictions also is lapsing, while Congress is bogged down in disagreement over a new round of aid. The Associated Press reconnected with renters first interviewed as they faced payments in April. Four months later, some have returned to work. Some found landlords willing to negotiate, while others are still looking for relief.
Portland, Oregon, protests relatively calm after US drawdown
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The first nightly protest in Portland, Oregon, since a deal was struck for federal agents to withdraw from the city was largely peaceful after state troopers took over protecting a federal courthouse. The demonstrations that started Thursday night and stretched into early Friday were in sharp contrast to two weeks of violent clashes between protesters and the federal agents sent to Portland by President Donald Trump. State and local officers stepped up their presence as part of a deal forged with Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. At the latest protest, hundreds of demonstrators gathered to listen to speeches about a block from the courthouse, with little sign of a law enforcement presence.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
Washington psychiatric hospital has 21 new COVID-19 cases
SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state’s embattled psychiatric hospital has seen a spike of more than 20 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. At least 57 workers at Western State Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus since mid-July when that total was 38. Officials say two new patients also have the disease bringing that total to 11. The latest patient to test positive was on the forensic ward. The patient had no symptoms, according to hospital CEO Dave Hold. A psychiatric security attendant also was confirmed positive for the virus. This staff person also had no symptoms, he said.
US: Snake River dams will not be removed to save salmon
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. government says four huge dams on the Snake River in Washington state will not be removed to help endangered salmon migrate to the ocean. Friday’s announcement thwarts the desires of environmental groups that fought for two decades to breach the structures.The Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, and sought to balance the needs of salmon and other interests.The plan calls for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster to and from the ocean.
PROTEST FOOTAGE LAWSUIT
Judge orders review of protest news images sought by police
SEATTLE (AP) — A King County judge has revised his ruling, ordering Friday that either he or a special master first will conduct a review of five Seattle news outlets’ unpublished protest photos and videos before deciding whether any should be turned over to Seattle police for an ongoing criminal investigation. The Seattle Times reports Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee said he added the review provision after grappling with his July 23 oral ruling that the media outlets must comply with a police subpoena. Despite the revisions, Seattle Times Executive Editor Michele Matassa Flores says the media parties to the case are disappointed with the ruling and will be filing an appeal.
US officials seek limits on “habitat” for imperiled species
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to restrict what land and water can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals. The move could potentially exclude areas that species could use in the future. The proposal obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its public release for the first time defines habitat for purposes of enforcing the Endangered Species Act. That could have broad implications on how far the government must go to protect plants and animals sliding toward extinction. Legal observers said the two-sentence definition would restrict the areas that officials can designate as critical to the surival of species.
ASIAN GIANT HORNET-TRAPPED
First Asian giant hornet found in Washington state trap
BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state agriculture workers have trapped their first Asian giant hornet. The hornet was found July 14 in a bottle trap set north of Seattle near the Canadian border, and state entomologists confirmed its identity Wednesday. The insect nicknamed the “murder hornet” is world’s largest hornet at 2 inches. The hornets can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver a painful sting to humans. The invasive insect was first documented in the state late last year. It’s the first such hornet to be found in a trap rather than in the environment as the state’s five previous confirmed sightings were.
CROWD CONTROL WEAPONS LAWSUIT
Judge postpones arguments in crowd-control weapons case
SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has postponed arguments over whether Seattle police violated an injunction against using force on peaceful protesters, and has asked lawyers for Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County and the city to plan for a full hearing on the matter. The Seattle Times reports U.S. District Judge Richard Jones initially scheduled Friday for arguments over a motion by BLM, which asked Jones to find the Police Department in violation of his earlier injunction prohibiting officers from using force against peaceful protesters. But on Thursday, the judge said he will use that time to set the parameters for a more formal evidentiary hearing, with testimony and exhibits including video. The date for that hearing has not been set.
Amazon closer to launching satellites, upping internet reach
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is one step closer to space. The online shopping giant received government approval to put more than 3,200 satellites into orbit that would beam down internet service to earth. Amazon said the satellites could provide internet to parts of the world that don’t have it. It could also become a new business for Amazon, selling internet service to people or companies who want it. Amazon said it will spend $10 billion on the initiative, called Project Kuiper. It’s opening a research facility in Redmond, Washington, where the satellites will be designed and tested.