Washington DOH reports multiple flu deaths for the first time in two years

Credit: Dreamstime OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Health announced Wednesday three people in the state died from the flu. All deaths were people who were 65 or older, and all three tested positive for influenza A. The DOH said flu activity across Washington has risen to moderate levels. This is the first time in two years that the…

WA Legislature OKs pause to long-term care program and tax

The Washington state Legislature has fast-tracked a delay of the implementation of a long-term care program _ and the payroll tax that pays for it _ to address solvency concerns and other issues raised about the first-in-the-nation defined benefit. The 46-3 vote in the Senate on Wednesday comes a week after the House passed the delay on a 91-6 vote. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee, who is expected to sign the measure Friday. Once signed, the tax that was set to start this month would be delayed until July 1, 2023. Collection of the $36,500 benefit to pay for things like in-home care, home modifications like wheelchair ramps and rides to the doctor would be delayed from Jan. 1, 2025 until July 1, 2026. 

California city approves 1st US insurance law for gun owners

A California city has voted to require gun owners to carry liability insurance in what's believed to be the first measure of its kind in the United States. The San Jose City Council overwhelmingly approved the measure Tuesday night despite opposition from some gun owners who said it would violate their Second Amendment rights. The council also voted to require thousands of gun owners in the city to pay a small fee, which would be used for firearm safety education and services such as domestic violence prevention and mental health services. The proposal aims at reducing gun violence in the San Francisco Bay Area city. 

Report: Washington leads the nation in potholes

Copyright 4 News NowSPOKANE, Wash.– In the Inland Northwest, we get all the seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter and potholes. (Yes, we get construction season too, but for the sake of this story we’re going to leave it at these.)  Right now, pothole season is in full swing. Don’t just take it from us or from your trip down the…

Mid-Columbia Symphony to host first concert in 2 years

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Two years after COVID-19 forced many businesses and organizations to shut-down Washington State, the Mid-Columbia Symphony is hosting their first concert. The three-concert season starts on February 6th at 3:30 p.m. in the Art Fuller Auditorium at…

2nd NYPD officer dies, days after Harlem shooting

A New York City police officer gravely wounded in a Harlem shooting that took his partner’s life has also died of his injuries. Officer Wilbert Mora’s death was announced Tuesday by police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. He was 27. Mora and Officer Jason Rivera were fatally wounded Friday after they were called to a Harlem apartment by a woman who needed help with her adult son. The gunman was identified as Lashawn McNeil. Police say he threw open a bedroom door and shot the officers as they walked down a narrow hall. A third officer shot McNeil, who died Monday.

Biden caught on hot mic swearing at Fox News reporter

President Joe Biden has called a Fox News reporter a vulgarity after the reporter asked him a question about inflation. The president was in the East Room of the White House on Monday to convene a meeting of his Competition Council. The panel is focused on changing regulations to help consumers deal with high prices. Several of the gathered reporters shouted questions to the president when he concluded his remarks. Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden if inflation was a political liability. Biden responded with sarcasm, saying inflation was a “great asset.” And then Biden added a vulgar phrase beginning with “son of a” about the reporter.

Pfizer opens study of COVID shots updated to match omicron

Pfizer has begun a study comparing its original COVID-19 vaccine with doses specially tweaked to match the omicron variant. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced the study on Tuesday. COVID-19 vaccine makers have been updating their shots in case global health authorities decide a change is needed. The Pfizer study will include 1,420 healthy adults. Most already are vaccinated and will get boosters of the omicron-based vaccine or the original version. Some unvaccinated volunteers will get three omicron-based doses. The original vaccines still offer good protection against severe illness and death. Studies have made clear that adding a booster dose strengthens that protection. 

California redwood forest returned to native tribal group

A conservation group is turning over a historic redwood grove on the Northern California coast to descendants of the original Native American inhabitants. Save the Redwoods League said it would transfer to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council a 523-acre property it recently acquired on the Lost Coast. It's the second property the league has transferred to the group of 10 tribes. The property includes prized old-growth redwoods, which were mostly decimated by logging. The land was purchased with $3.5 million from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet habitat to mitigate other environmental damage by the utility.