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Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.

Support dogs bring comfort to mudslide survivors

The dogs of HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response have received hours of training to provide emotional support to people who have experienced a disaster or crisis.

Member of the organization are spread all across the nation, including Spokane. Just days after the mudslide, eight Spokane dogs and their owners went to some of the mudslide's hardest hit areas.

"They just loved all the dogs coming in to help them," said Debbie Wing of HOPE AACR.

They will continue to go back and forth from Oso, Arlington and Darrington, over the course of the next few months to assist mudslide victims who need the most help.

"The child daycare center, they were extremely depressed. They were saying, 'Why go on?' They were so comforted by the dogs. Within 45 minutes, they were singing, playing and talking about all the happy things instead of everything they had been talking about," said Wing

Karen Hathaway, the vice president of HOPE AACR, said the dogs literally take the pain away from those who are suffering.

Farmer settles illegal water use case

An Eastern Washington farmer has reached a settlement agreement with the state Department of Ecology after illegally irrigating cropland on Frenchman Hills near Royal City.

Farrah Wardenaar received and appealed an order to stop irrigating her property last July. She continued to illegally irrigate her cropland and Ecology issued a $59,443 fine in the fall.

Wardenaar has agreed to withdraw her appeal and pay $40,000 of the fine. The rest will be excused after three years if she meets settlement conditions.

Water supply in the Columbia Basin Project is tightly managed to ensure adequate water supply for users and to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

Ephrata man remains missing after deadly canal crash

Recovery efforts continue in Grant County as rescuers look for Scott Kolves, an Ephrata father of three, who remains missing after his truck crashed into a canal south of Coulee City over the weekend.

Kolves, 45, was a long time employee of Eprhata High School, were he worked as a security guard. He also liked to fish with his three boys, and that's what the four were doing Sunday when tragedy struck.

The canal that feeds into the Summer Falls power plant was a favorite spot for Scott Kolves and his boys to go fishing.

"I know on a personal level that they enjoy fishing and Scott enjoys time with his three boys and that's what they were doing yesterday," Grant County Undersheriff Dave Ponozzo said.

Deputies aren't sure what caused Kolves' truck to drive into the canal but they know it flipped and was carried 100 yards downstream by the fast moving water. Fishermen nearby heard the commotion and were able to pull his 10 and 12-year-old sons out of the canal.

"Observed the other two occupants in the vehicle but lost sight of them as they had not surface in quite some time," Ponozzo said.

Boy killed, father missing after car crashes in irrigation canal

A car accident in Grant County claims the life of an 8-year-old boy Sunday.

The Grant County Sheriff's Department says a car carrying three boys, ages eight to 12, crashed into an irrigation canal. The car was driven by their father, Scott Kolves.

The accident happened near Summer Falls Dam seven miles south of Coulee City.

All three boys were taken to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake. Korey Kolves, 8, died at the hospital.

A dive team was called out to the area to search for Scott Kolves, but he remains unaccounted for. The search was suspended Sunday evening and began again Monday morning.

Kolves' sons all went to school in the Ephrata area. The Ephrata School District sent out a crisis message and will have counselors at the schools to help students with the situation.

Washington deadline to remove studded tires

Washington deadline to remove studded tires

Monday is the deadline for drivers to remove studded tires.

Drivers with studded tires after Monday could get a $124 ticket.

The Transportation Department wants studded tires off the road because they cause highway ruts and damage bridge decks.

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

Report shows high rate of tobacco sales to WA minors

The number of retailers in Washington that illegally sell tobacco to minors is high for the second year in a row. An annual report that tracks illegal sales shows about 15% of tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors in 2013, which is about the same as it was in 2012. As recently as 2009, the rate was much lower, at about 9%.