Olympic champ Biles withdraws from all-around competition

Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title. The American gymnastics superstar has withdrawn the all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready. Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around.  USA Gymnastics said Biles will be evaluated daily before deciding if she will participate in next week’s individual events. 

High profile: Cannabis chemical delta-8 gains fans, scrutiny

A chemical cousin of pot’s main intoxicating ingredient has rocketed to popularity over the last year. The cannabis industry and state governments are scrambling to reckon with it amid debate over whether it’s legal. It’s called delta-8 THC, and it’s billed as producing a milder high than the better known delta-9 THC. The burgeoning chemical is often marketed as being legal even where marijuana is not because it’s mostly synthesized from CBD. Regulators in more than a dozen states have made or considered some move on delta-8 this year. Some sought effectively to ban it. Others aimed to allow but regulate it.

Gov. Inslee to hold in-person press conference on COVID response

Rachel La CorteOLYMPIA, Wash. — On Wednesday, Governor Jay Inslee will be holding an in-person to discuss the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will be joined by State Department of Health secretary Umair Shah, MD, and executive director of external affairs Nick Streuli. It will happen at 10:30 a.m. and will be livestreamed by TVW. RELATED: 9…

Yakima Fire Department to buy 2 new fire trucks

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima City Council has approved the purchase of two new pumper fire trucks to replace some of the city's aging fire apparatus. The council approved the plan July 20 to buy the trucks, which will cost…

Rolovich laments distraction created by his vaccine decision

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich has lamented that his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine has created a distraction for his program, though he reiterated that he would keep his reasons why private. Rolovich made his comments during a Zoom call with sports writers covering Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles. Rolovich was the only conference coach not at the W Hollywood Hotel for media day, where proof of vaccination was required for those in attendance. Rolovich says he isn't against vaccinations and supports those who choose to be vaccinated, including players, staff, and coaches.

Man charged with sending threatening emails to Dr. Fauci

Federal prosecutors in Maryland say a man has been arrested and charged with sending emails that threatened to harm and kill Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, and their families. Thomas Patrick Connally Jr. is charged with threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm. An affidavit alleges that since December, Connally has used an encrypted email service to send threatening emails to Collins and Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland. One threatened that Fauci and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire.” Connally is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers slams CDC’s new mask guidance, claims it ‘undermines vaccine confidence’

SPOKANE, Wash. — Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) released a statement claiming the Centers for Disease Control’s updated guidance on masking “undermines vaccine confidence.”  The CDC on Tuesday recommended that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with “substantial” and “high” transmission of COVID-19. The updated guidance comes as the Delta variant rages across the United States.  A…

$15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs

The signs and banners are dotted along suburban commercial strips and hanging in shop windows and restaurants, evidence of a new desperation among America’s service-industry employers: “Now Hiring, $15 an hour.” It is hardly the official federal minimum wage — at $7.25, that level hasn’t been raised since 2009 — but for many lower-skilled workers, $15 an hour has increasingly become a reality. Businesses, particularly in the restaurant, retail and travel industries, have been offering up a $15 wage to try to fill enough jobs to meet surging demand from consumers who are increasingly traveling, shopping, attending entertainment events and eating out.

Georgia man pleading guilty to 4 of 8 Asian spa killings

A Georgia man accused of killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage businesses is pleading guilty. Robert Aaron Long signed a plea deal hoping for life without parole in the first four shooting deaths. A Cherokee County judge is hearing a prosecutor describe details of his crimes. Long still faces execution if convicted of murdering four people at two spas in Atlanta, where prosecutors charged him with domestic terrorism and a hate crime enhancement in addition to murder. Long is white and six of the victims were women of Asian descent. But the prosecutor in Cherokee County said investigators didn't find evidence justifying a hate crime charge.

Police: Man shoots wife, young girl in Airway Heights, remains at large

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — Police said a man shot his wife and her daughter at a home in Airway Heights early Tuesday morning. That man, identified as Zion J. Carter, has not been taken into custody. He is believed to have fled the area in a silver, 2018 Nissan Rogue with Washington plate BQT0555. Police are warned not to approach…