KPQ News

Bud Hover Resigns Washington State Ag Sec Post

Posted 3/31/15
 
Bud Hover announced Monday he is resigning his post as Director of Washington State's Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to return to his farm in Okanogan County and spend more time with his wife and family. Hover announced his resignation in a letter to Governor Jay Inslee, 
 
Hover, a former Okanogan County Commissioner, was appointed to lead the agency in 2013. He says he will continue to serve through the current Legislative Session, scheduled to conclude April 26, to ensure a smooth transition.
 
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Lands Commissioner Seeks More State Funding for Summer Wildfires

Posted 3/31/15
 
Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark urged the state House Appropriations Committee yesterday to fully fund resource requests to fight wildfires, map landslides and inspect timber harvests in unstable areas.
 
The committee’s draft budget includes only $2.5 million of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ original request for about $4.5 million to bolster fire crews, add equipment and expand aerial firefighting capability in the wake of the 2014 fire season, the worst in state history. 
 
In his testimony before the House Committee Goldmark provided a preliminary forecast for this summer's wildfire season . . 
 
The agency’s requests for resources related to firefighting, landslide mapping and timber-harvest monitoring have garnered strong editorial support over the last few months from media outlets throughout Washington.
 
 
 
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Two Bridgeport Residents Arrested on Weapons Charges

Posted from Douglas County Sheriff News Release on 3/31/15
 
On 03/28/15 at approximately 2:30 AM Deputies on routine patrol in the City of Bridgeport, WA heard gunshots in the area of 1255 Fairview.  They responded to the scene and located a number of spent 9mm shell casings near a residence.  Two persons came out and confronted the Deputies about what they were doing.  Both suspects had the odor of alcohol on or about their person.  Additional investigation indicated that the suspects had been firing a pistol outside their house.  A search warrant was applied for and executed at the residence.  A 9mm pistol was located.  In addition, the male suspect was found to be a convicted felon.  Both were arrested and transported to the Okanogan County Jail without incident.
 
19 year old Eva Torres-Gomez of Bridgeport was arrested for illegally aiming or discharging a firearm and minor in possession of alcohol.
20 year old Adan Torres Gomes of Bridgeport was arrested for illegally aiming or discharging a firearm, felon in possession a firearm, and minor in possession of alcohol.
 
There were no reports of injuries or property damage.
 
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Apple Citizen Named

Dr. Jay Brunner, director of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, has been named as the 2015 Apple Citizen of the Year by the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival. Festival Administrator Darci Waterman says the award, which began in 1981, honors the roots of the Festival and the leaders that make this the Apple Capital of the World. Brunner, associated with Entomology research and education for 36 years, is noted for his research into Integrated Pest Management. Dr. Brunner will be honored at the All Service Club Luncheon on Wednesday, April 29, and will also ride in the Stemilt Growers Grand Parade on May 2.

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Hospital affiliation talks begin

Posted Sunday, 03-29-15

 

Confluence Health officials Friday announced the have begun talks with their counterparts at Samaritan Healthcare to form an affiliated organization. Confluence Health Marketing and Communications Director Steph Grubich says the hope is to provide the greatest value for their patients it terms of cost and quality.

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Grubich says as plans become more developed in coming months, leadership at the two agencies are committed to sharing more information with the community and their patients.

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Sabey plans new data center

Posted Sunday, 03-29-15

Sabey Data Centers has kicked off construction of a second massive data center in Quincy. Construction crews broke ground earlier this month. John Ford, vice president of Sabey Data Centers says the new facility will be about 135,000 square feet in size and the first 2.7 megawatt pod is expected to come on line in October. Based in Seattle, Sabey is one of the biggest data center landlords in Washington. Ford says they plan more work in Central Washington in the next few years.

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Quincy is one of the state's primary data center markets. In addition to data center providers like Sabey and Vantage, tech giants like Dell, Microsoft and Yahoo have data centers there. Ford says our area is attractive for data center operators because of the relative low cost of power and land, small risk of natural disaster, and sales tax breaks on data center equipment purchases.

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Sales tax changes

Posted Sunday, 03-29-15

Consumers in a handful of communities, including Tonasket, will see their sales tax rate increase on purchases starting April 1st. According to the State Department of Revenue the sales tax rate in Tonasket rises by one-tenth of one percent, to 8.2 percent. The tax increase will go to help pay for criminal justice and safety services. Other cities whose sales tax rate will increase by one-tenth of one percent include Seattle, North Bend, Friday Harbor as well as Pacific County and the cities of Long Beach, Ilwaco, Raymond and South Bend.

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Studded tire deadline

Posted Sunday, 03-29-15

March 31st is the deadline to remove studded tires in our state. Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe says studs can wear down pavement, so removing them promptly helps extend the lifetime of state roadways. She says studded tires cause an estimated $10 to $16 million dollars in damage to concrete pavement in our state each year.

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She says DOT crews will continue to monitor roads, passes and forecasts and work to clear any late season snow or ice. Under state law, driving with studded tires after March 31st is a traffic infraction that could result in a $124 ticket.

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