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USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

USDA offering financial assistance for farmers impacted by wildfires

The United States Department of Agriculture wants to help farmers impacted by this year's brutal wildfire season in central and eastern Washington.

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Services is now accepting applications from agriculture producers in Kittitas, Grant, Chelan, Okanogan and Douglas counties impacted by wildfires in 2014. Financial assistance is offered through the Wildfire Initiative of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help resource concerns on private and tribal land.

NRCS will be offering two financial assistance options:

Option 1 – General EQIP

The key conservation practice available for assistance under this option is deferred grazing. This practice allows grasses time to recover while livestock producers seek alternate feed sources. And for the first time, NRCS is also offering broadcast seeding as part of this initiative.

Option 2 – Wildfire Special Initiative

1 dead in crash involving Grant Co. Sheriff's Deputy

1 dead in crash involving Grant Co. Sheriff's Deputy

One person is dead following a two car collision involving a Grant County Sheriff's Deputy on Saturday morning.

The crash happened just before 10 a.m. at the intersection of Dodson Road NW and County Road 5 NW, just ten miles south of Ephrata.

Ephrata resident McKenna B. Fuglie, age 22, was killed in the collision.

Tyson J. Voss, age 39 of Moses Lake, is the Grant County Sheriff's Deputy who was injured in the collision. Voss was treated and released from Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake.

Washington State Patrol is investigating the incident.

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Sue the T-Rex takes over Mobius Science Museum

Few things will ever be as cool or awe-inspiring as dinosaurs, and today is the first day you can meet one up close and personal at Mobius Science Museum. Not just any dinosaur either, but Sue – the largest and most complete fossil of a T-Rex ever discovered.

Sue's trip to Spokane began as a whirlwind affair, with an empty stretch in her schedule the options were to either be shipped back to Chicago for storage or find a museum who would be willing to take her.

“Sue is what we call, in the business, a last minute booking,” said Mobius CEO Phil Lindsey. “Some of our board members had been reaching out to the Field Museum in Chicago about her availability and we reached a point where we thought we were going to be able to get her out here. From the booking to the shipping, everything was about six weeks.”

Information wanted in residential burglary

Information wanted in residential burglary

Grant County Sheriff's Deputies arrested two 17-year-old boys Wednesday afternoon for burglary and theft.

Deputies responded to 123 E. Montmorency Boulevard in George for a report of a burglary which happened between 7:30 am and 11:30 am Wednesday. During the investigation, deputies learned of two possible suspects. Deputies then found those two suspects a short distance away.

One suspect, a 17-year-old George boy, was arrested. The other suspect, a 17-year-old Quincy boy, fled but turned himself into deputies later that day. Deputies recovered two .22 caliber pistols stolen during the burglary. Each suspect faces charges of first-degree burglary and theft of a firearm.

Deputies are still looking for several other pieces of property stolen during that burglary. These are the best descriptions of the items:

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

Controversy continues over proposed WSU medical school

 The University of Washington released a scathing rebuttal this week to a report supporting the creation of a medical school for Washington State University, saying it contains “a number of deep flaws,” and is based on “faulty assumptions, omissions and erroneous data.”

WSU first approached consultant MGT of America in February to conduct a feasibility assessment for a new medical school based on the University's health sciences campus in Spokane. Specifically the assessment was to focus on the need for physicians in Eastern Washington, the best educational model to meet those needs, if current WSU resources were capable of creating a program to meet accreditation standards and the required time and resources to develop a new medical school.

Grant County child hospitalized with possible enterovirus

Grant County child hospitalized with possible enterovirus

A Grant County child has been hospitalized with a severe respiratory that may be enterovirus D68. A test returned positive for enterovirus/rhinovirus, but was unable to distinguish between the two. Additional testing is being done at the Centers for Disease Control that will determine which it is, with results expected next week.

Grant County Health Officer Dr. Alexander Brezny issued a public health advisory to local healthcare providers and schools. The CDC has said this is a rapidly evolving situation. Previously EV-D68 has been rare in the U.S, but in other states the outbreaks are resulting in many children requiring ER visits and hospitalizations, mostly for breathing problems and severe asthma.

The virus spreads from person to person like a cold and has been causing mild to severe breathing illnesses (runny nose, cough, difficulty breathing) both with and without fever. Children with per-existing asthma may suffer worse infections. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for enteroviruses.

Grant County adopts ordinance regulating e-cigarettes

Grant County adopts ordinance regulating e-cigarettes

The Grant County Board of Health has unanimously adopted an ordinance regulating the sale, marketing, use and availability of electronic vapor devices (ex: e-cigarettes) and e-liquid.

The board studied the issue and received public testimony for several months before voting. Specific concerns were bystander exposure to second hand vapors and access to children. E-cigarettes and similar products are mostly unregulated and pose a concern to public health.

In fact, this year alone the Washington Poison Center has seen a 600 percent increase in the number of calls regarding e-cigarette exposure.

The devices are battery powered and can resemble cigarettes. People who use the devices inhale vaporized liquid nicotine, or other liquids, created by heat and exhale the vapor in a way that looks like smoking. Bystanders are exposed to potentially unhealthy second hand vapors and their use makes it difficult to enforce state and local smoking laws.