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Lawmaker wants $1 fee on Gorge tickets

A state legislator is proposing to new $1 fee to tickets at The Gorge Amphitheater to help pay for emergency services on concert weekends.

State Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, says the money raised would be split between the small hospital and fire districts that serve the area.

The Columbia Basin Herald reports that last year, concert and festival goers racked up more than $400,000 in unpaid bills to the Quincy Valley Medical Center.

Manweller says his bill will be introduced later this year. He says his bill would allow the Grant County commissioners to impose the surcharge, but not require it.

From Seattle to Clayton, marijuana stores getting ready to open

From Seattle to Clayton, marijuana stores getting ready to open

Each day Washington grows closer to legal marijuana sales and some business owners are now setting up shop as the liquor control board pushes forward with its investigations.

The success of potential pot store Savage THC in Clayton could all depend on traffic. Not trafficking but traffic on Highway 395, which connects Spokane to Canada.

"I'm trying to suck in the Canadian visitors by telling them it's only 138 clicks (kilometers)," owner Scott Dekay said.

Dekay is currently building the infrastructure for his pot business.

"I'm thinking like a bank style window, maybe with bars or plexiglass, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet," he said.

Dekay is excited since receiving this letter from the liquor control board stating his application is moving forward.

"My daughter is here for a visit, I don't see her very often, and I just told her, 'This is the best day of my life since you were born,'" he said.

If he passes a background check and financial investigation he could be awarded a license, but there's still a lot of work to do. Counters, signs, security cameras, everything built to the specifications he presented in his application.

Inslee stops release of inmate who nearly killed Richland police officer

Inslee stops release of inmate who nearly killed Richland police officer

A man who stabbed a Richland police officer seven times and then shot him twice nearly 32-years-ago will remain behind bars.

Jerry Lain, who has been jailed for the last three decades, was up for parole in 2010 but then-Governor Christine Gregoire exercised a rarely used executive power stopping his parole. Now Governor Jay Inslee has done the same.

In 1982 Lain, 56, was on the run from parole in Iowa. He was caught prowling cars in Richland by Police Officer Mike Fitzpatrick. Initially Lain told Fitzpatrick to shoot him but when the officer got close enough Lain stabbed him multiple times then shot him twice using the officer's own gun.

Fitzpatrick survived the assault and Lain was given a maximum sentence of life in prison. Lain was eligible for parole in 2010 and then again in 2014 and both times his release has been stopped, first by Gregoire and now by Inslee.

State Representative Kevin Parker, who has been working with the Fitzpatricks to block Lain's release, said it was the right choice.

Washington sees spike in pesticide related illnesses

Washington sees spike in pesticide related illnesses

From the Washington State Department of Health:

There have been 15 potential pesticide drift events resulting in about 60 people getting ill reported to the Washington State Department of Health in the past two months– that’s as many the agency normally sees in a year.

Grant County Jail cancels visiting hours for the week

From the Grant County Sheriff’s Office:

Due to staffing shortages this week at the Grant County Jail, inmate visiting hours have been cancelled. This cancellation is for the safety of inmates, visitors and jail staff.

Inmate visitation will resume again Mon. May 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

SGL to become world's largest carbon fiber producer

SGL to become world's largest carbon fiber producer

SGL Automotive in Moses Lake is set to become the largest producer of carbon fiber in the world and add 120 new jobs, after a recent announcement by the company.

KXLY4 featured SGL Automotive in this Made in the Northwest story in August 2013.

The $200 million in new investment is due to strong sales in BMW's new electric cars.

The expansion, announced on Friday, will add a third 110,000 sq. ft. building at the Moses Lake plant, which will increase its production to 9,000 metric tons of carbon fiber per year.  The new building will house SGL's fifth and sixth production lines.  The third and fourth were just recently completed.

“Because of the very fast-paced growth, and success of i3 and i8 (BMW electric cars) in the market, we basically went straight ahead and now are starting to construct building three for lines five and six,” said SGL managing director Joerg Pohlman.

The 120 new jobs will bring the total at SGL to about 200.

Helicopters move salmon fry in Columbia River

Juvenile salmon are flying over two Columbia River dams near Vantage.

The Grant County Public Utility District is using helicopters to release tagged salmon to track their movements through Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams.

Utility spokesman Chuck Allen told The Wenatchee World helicopters are being used to reduce the time it takes to transport and release the fish in the middle of the river.

The utility is required to study and mitigate juvenile salmon deaths as part of the license to operate the dams.