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Wanapum Reservoir begins final refill after completed repairs

Wanapum Reservoir begins final refill after completed repairs

 

The Grant PUD began refilling the reservoir behind the Wanapum Dam on Tuesday, March 16th after a year of research, construction and collaboration was completed to repair a fracture in the dam's spillway.

 

Depending on river flows, the utility expects to be at normal river levels within the next two weeks. This is the last major milestone for this project, and the reservoir is expected to be fully restored to its pre-existing conditions for public access and utilization.

 

All Grant PUD boat launches and shorelines, with the exception of those areas under construction, will reopen to the public ahead of schedule. However, the PUD urges the public to use caution when accessing the reservoir due to fluctuating water levels and heed all warning signs.

 

Over the past year the utility has done the following during the project:

Grant County Sheriff's Office needs donations to build a K9 Patrol Program

Grant County Sheriff's Office needs donations to build a K9 Patrol Program

 

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says their in need of Patrol K9s now more than ever. Because of this, the Sheriff's Office is asking citizens of Grant County to help with the funding of this Patrol K9 Program.

 

It's been over 20 years since the Sheriff's Office has had Patrol K9s. According to the Sheriff's Office changes in criminal activity throughout Grant County means added skills of trained K9 teams are needed to track down criminals, find explosives, rescue lost or missing persons, locate contraband in correctional facilities, and serve as a deterrent to those who may want to assault a deputy.

 

Each of the four K9 teams will cost approximately $30,500. The Sheriff's Office said that cost will cover the following:

State Senate votes to extend ban on cell phone use while driving

State Senate votes to extend ban on cell phone use while driving

The Washington Senate has voted to extend the state's ban on cell phone use while driving to cover the range of functions a smartphone can now serve.

In a 35-14 vote Tuesday, Senators sent to the House a bill that would update legislation written in 2008 that bans hand-held phone calls and texting while driving. Since then, mobile platforms for Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other social networking and video game uses have gained millions of users. Under existing law, they're legal for drivers to use while behind the wheel, despite being distracting.

Warden High School shooting threat unfounded according to police

Warden High School shooting threat unfounded according to police

 

A shooting threat at Warden High School on Wednesday was determined to be unfounded by the Warden Police.

 

At approximately 9:00 a.m. Wednesday Warden High School Principal, Chris Rust, was told by some students that a classmate was going to "shoot up the school today."

 

The school was placed on lockdown, and the Warden Police Department was notified. The student of interest was not at school, so Warden Police responded to the student's home, and contacted both the students and his mother.

 

Police say they confirmed the threat was just a rumor, and the school district released the building from the lockdown. School proceeded for the rest of the day.

Washington State Department of Health warns of Salmonella illness tied to baby birds

Washington State Department of Health warns of Salmonella illness tied to baby birds

 

At least 39 Washingtonians have reported getting ill from Salmonella bacteria after coming in contact with live poultry in the past three years, according to reports reviewed by disease investigators at the state’s Department of Health. These 39 cases were associated with three separate national Salmonella outbreaks that caused more than 1,200 people to get sick. Contact with live poultry may also have contributed to more than 100 other cases of salmonellosis in our state in the past three years that weren’t associated with any known outbreak.

 

Spring is the season when many people who have chickens or ducks in backyard flocks buy baby birds. From the time the baby birds arrive at home, children should be supervised carefully to make sure they wash their hands immediately after touching the animals or their environments. Another prevention step is to make sure children don’t snuggle or kiss the young poultry.

 

Moses Lake man seriously injured in Ephrata area crash

Moses Lake man seriously injured in Ephrata area crash

 

A 22-year-old Moses Lake man suffered a severe head injury during a Tuesday morning rollover crash south of Ephrata.



According to the Grant County Sheriff's Office, David Crowell was driving north around 9:20 a.m. in the 11000 block of Dodson Road North when his 2001 Ford Explorer left the roadway, struck a driveway, vaulted, struck the ground and rolled one and one quarter times before coming to rest. Crowell was ejected and landed about 20 feet away from the vehicle.



Crowell sustained a serious head injury and was taken to Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata and later flown aboard a MedStar helicopter to Providence-Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. He is listed in serious condition.



The collision is under investigation by the Grant County Sheriff’s Motor Traffic Unit.


The Sheriff's Office said Crowell's Explorer was destroyed.

Change your clocks, change your batteries: Ephrata FD reminds citizens to maintain smoke alarms

Change your clocks, change your batteries: Ephrata FD reminds citizens to maintain smoke alarms

 

Daylight savings will begin at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday March 8th, and the Ephrata Fire Department is asking residents to take the opportunity to test and change the batteries in their smoke detectors as they set their clocks forward. Smoke alarms in the home are considered one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. 

 

Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lost their lives in residential fires. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least one a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.

 

The Ephrata Fire Department provided these important facts regarding smoke alarms: