Northwest News

Court sides with Oregon governor over early prison releases

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that Gov. Kate Brown was within her authority to grant clemency during the coronavirus pandemic to nearly 1,000 people convicted of crimes. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the governor’s use of her powers to shorten prison sentences drew condemnation from Linn County District Attorney Doug Marteeny and Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow. The attorneys and family members of crime victims sued the governor and other state officials to stop the clemency actions. The majority of the people receiving clemency were either medically at risk during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic or had helped with wildfire fighting efforts during the historic Labor Day fires in 2020.

Former Washington St coach files wrongful termination claim

Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich has filed a claim against the university seeking $25 million for wrongful termination after he was fired last year for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Such a claim is a prerequisite for filing a lawsuit against a state agency. Rolovich’s attorney, Brian Fahling, has previously indicated Rolovich would take legal action, claiming religious discrimination. Rolovich was denied a religious exemption from Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate requiring state employees to get the vaccine. Rolovich is Catholic.

Marshawn Lynch, ex-Seahawks star, booked on suspicion of DUI in Vegas

Las Vegas police say former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch has been arrested on suspicion of driving impaired. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said officers stopped the vehicle the 36-year-old Lynch was driving at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. They say officers determined Lynch was impaired and detained him. He was booked at the Las Vegas City Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence.  Jail records did not show whether he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. Lynch played 12 season the NFL, mostly with the Seattle Seahawks. He had 10,413 career rushing yards and 85 rushing touchdowns from 2007-19 with the Seahawks, the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders.

Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate calls for state of emergency over homeless crisis

The Republican candidate for governor in Oregon, Christine Drazan, has called for declaring a state of emergency on homelessness. The proposal topped the roadmap her campaign released on Monday. The number of people experiencing homelessness has soared in parts of Oregon by as much as 70% since 2020, fueled by a housing crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Drazan hopes her proposal will set her apart in a three-way race, as she aims to become Oregon’s first Republican governor in 35 years. Drazan is among three gubernatorial candidates. She is running against the Democrat Tina Kotek, a former state House speaker, and the unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson.

Eyman forced to sell house to pay campaign finance fines

Watch salesman turned anti-tax initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who was found liable last year for “numerous and particularly egregious” violations of campaign finance law, has been forced to sell his house to help pay millions in fines and debt. The Seattle Times reports a federal bankruptcy judge Thursday approved a resolution requiring Eyman to sell his portion of a Mukilteo house to his ex-wife. The $900,000 will go toward paying over $5.6 million in sanctions and legal fees he owes the state of Washington and creditors. Eyman was fined by a Thurston County judge who found he had enriched himself by laundering political donations. Eyman described the penalties against him as “ridiculously unconstitutional and absurdly excessive."

Washington high school students could soon earn credit for paid work experience

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington students could soon earn credits toward their high school diploma through paid work experience.  Nearly 30 percent of students across the state are employed in high school. On Thursday, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal announced a plan that would allow students ages 16 and up to earn elective credits through paid work verified by their school.  “Through…

Seattle ends COVID hazard pay for grocery store workers

The Seattle City Council has voted to end COVID-19 hazard pay for grocery stores. The Seattle Times reports the council voted 5-2 on Tuesday, with Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Teresa Mosqueda absent, to repeal a policy passed in early 2021 which required grocery stores to pay employees an additional $4 per hour in hazard pay. The council had considered lifting this requirement several times since its initial passage, even voting to end hazard pay in December before the spike in the omicron variant and subsequent veto by then-Mayor Jenny Durkan, but ultimately voted to end the requirement Tuesday at the request of Mayor Bruce Harrell.

Hundreds of endangered frogs raised, set to be released in Grant County

GRANT CO., Wash. – Hundreds of Northern leopard frogs will be released in Grant County later this month.  The frogs have been considered an endangered species since 1999. There is only one known wild population remaining in Washington state, so the path to recovery is long.  Authorities believe the frogs’ decline in the Pacific Northwest comes from habitat loss and…

Entire town of Lind being evacuated for wildfire, structures lost

Credit: Adams County Sheriffs OfficeLIND, Wash. — Everyone in the town of Lind should evacuate immediately. A large wildfire is burning on the south side of town and approaching homes. First responders are in the area evacuating people, but anyone south of Highway 21 should leave as soon as possible. Traffic Alert from Adams County Sheriff; 3 miles south of…

Wanted gang member located, arrested in Toppenish

YAKIMA, Wash. — A known gang member wanted for charges of attempted murder in Whatcom County and taking a female hostage and shooting at officers in Lynnwood, WA has been arrested in Toppenish.   According to a release from the Yakima…