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Moses Lake plant building car charging station

The carbon fiber plant at Moses Lake has agreed to spend $125,000 on an electric car charging station to settle a fine from the state Ecology Department for air pollution.

The Tri-City Herald reports equipment failures in 2012 and 2013 at SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers released uncontrolled emissions. The plant makes a light-weight material for BMW's electric car.

Working 4 you: There's been another data breach, now what?

Working 4 you: There's been another data breach, now what?

Data breaches seem to be becoming the norm, and there's another consumers need to be aware of. Millions of people's personal information is at risk after hackers targeted a hospital network.

Community Health Systems announced the breach yesterday in a regulatory filing. The organization operates 206 hospitals in 29 states across the country.

It says hackers in China have stolen data on 4.5 million patients. The breach happened sometime in April and June this year.

The hackers accessed patients' names, social security numbers, addresses and phone numbers.

Anyone who received treatment from a network-owned hospital in the last five years is affected. People who were referred there by a doctor are also impacted.

The large data breach puts these people at a heightened risk of identity fraud.

But, experts say there are steps to take to make sure your identity stays safe.

First, if you think your SSN has been stolen, contact the three major credit-reporting agencies. They are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Tell them your social has been stolen and each will give you a free copy of your credit report.

First West Nile infection of 2014 reported

First West Nile infection of 2014 reported

The Washington Department of Health has confirmed the first case of in-state West Nile virus since 2012.

A Walla Walla man in his 20's was exposed somewhere near his home and hospitalized. The infection was confirmed by testing at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories in Shoreline.

Two other Washington residents have been diagnosed with the infection this year, both both contracted the disease while traveling out of state. Additional reports of possible infections are currently under investigation.

“The mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile virus in eastern Washington this season are a reminder that the virus is here and we should protect ourselves,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “The best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites – at home and while traveling.”

So far 34 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2014, including:

Soap Lake apartment complex fire kills 1

One man is dead following an early Sunday morning fire at an apartment complex in Soap Lake.

Soap Lake Police Chief Glenn Quantz confirms that crews responded to a fire at the Soap Lake Gardens complex at 327 Division Street S at 2 a.m. Sunday. The six unit complex was destroyed.

One person, an elderly man, was killed by the fire. That man's identity has not been released.

The cause of the fire and the point of origin are currently unknown. The incident is under investigation.

The Red Cross is helping the displaced tenants.

Moses Lake air tanker base having busy season fighting wildfires

Moses Lake air tanker base having busy season fighting wildfires

The roar of planes has been heard a little bit more this summer at the Moses Lake Airport. The wildfire air tanker base has been busier flying a record amount of retardant to area fires.

"We've had a lot of 100,000 gallon days," Base Manager Rob Meade said.

Since June the base has flown out 1.9 million gallons of the red mixture.

"We are the only tanker base in the state of Washington, so we cover a large area," Meade said.

The previous record of 1.4 million gallons was set in the base's first year of operation in 2001.

"It's kind of sad that we've had that many fires and there is that much destruction and everything," Meade said. "But you know we just keep pumping the mud and doing what we are told, send the planes where they want them to go."

Mead says they can accommodate planes like the massive DC-10's, all the way to small single engine planes. Wednesday a DC-10 sat on the pad, the crew had the day off. Two other planes, a P2V from Montana and an RJ85 from Arizona waited on standby for a call to action.

Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Program connects refugees with fresh produce

Refugee Connections Spokane is a program that helps new and former refugees settle into the community. The Refugees' Harvest Project is one of the volunteer activities that locals can take part in.

"Refugees who come from farming cultures want to get out and do what they know how to do so well," Executive Director of Refugee Connections Spokane said.

It started back in 2011 by Nou Vang, a local refugee at the time. She watched fruit just falling on the ground and rotting. Vang knew there was a need for fresh produce within the local refugee community.

Instead of letting it go to waste, she thought she could pick the unwanted fruit while simultaneously cleaning Spokane yards.

Today, the project is growing rapidly. Volunteers collect thousands of pounds of produce to distribute for free in the East Central Neighborhood.

"There are people who can't afford to buy fresh produce or the store is too far to get to," Hale said.

DNR bans all outdoor burning

DNR bans all outdoor burning

The Washington Department of Natural Resources has expanded the current statewide burn ban to cover all outdoor burning on DNR-protected lands, with no exceptions.

“All indicators are that we'll continue to have high heat, low humidity and storm systems with winds and lightning. That means huge potential for wildfires,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “We need to do everything we can to minimize danger to people, homes and habitat.”

Hot and dry conditions since early summer have caused very high fire hazard conditions throughout the state. These conditions have caused fires to spread rapidly and challenged firefighting efforts. More than $91 million has been spent so far battling wildfires in 2014, and more than 350,000 acres have burned across the state. There are many weeks to go in this year’s fire season, which usually runs into October.