Quinault Elders in Aberdeen traffic accident Tuesday

ABERDEEN, Wash. (AP) — A tribal spokesman says eight Quinault Indian Nation tribal elders and staff members have been injured in a traffic crash in Aberdeen.

Spokesman Steve Robinson says the Quinault group was headed to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday morning when their van collided with a pickup truck. Robinson says two elders were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, one with a broken pelvis and the other with a broken pelvis and broken ribs. Other injuries in the crash included broken bones, bumps and bruises.

None of the injuries was considered critical.

The crash caused the van to flip over. Robinson says the two people in the pickup were not seriously hurt.

“The truck just came out of nowhere,” one of the victims said. The accident put an abrupt end to the elders’ plans to attend a conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

Upon hearing of the accident, tribal staff rushed to provide support.
“This was a terrible accident,” said Tribal Councilman Larry Ralston. “The Tribe and the families will take every precaution with our elders and provide all the support we can to help nurse them back to health. I just wish people would slow down and be more cautious,” he said. Preliminary indications are that the pickup truck ran a red light when it crashed into the tribal van. The accident is being investigated by local authorities.
Among other things, the Tribe is setting up grief counseling, as a precaution, for the seniors and their families.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of this terrible accident,” said Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Nation. “We do all we can to keep our seniors safe. They are very precious to us. We extend our gratitude to the local police, Harborview, and Grays Harbor Community Hospital and all other emergency services personnel who rendered aid in this morning’s emergency.”
The names of the victims were withheld until consent to publish them is provided.

Olympic National Park to move Enchanted Valley Chalet

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) – Olympic National Park says it’s moving forward with a plan to move a historic chalet that’s being threatened by the shifting east fork of the Quinault River.

The Enchanted Valley Chalet, located 13 miles from the nearest road, was built as a backcountry lodge in the 1930s, before the creation of the park. More recently, it has been used as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.

Visitors last winter noticed the river had come within 18 inches of the chalet, and recent photographs show the river undercutting the building by about 8 feet. Park Service officials said Monday that an expedited environmental review has been completed, giving them the green light to move the building.

They’re worried that if the chalet falls into the river it could harm protected bull trout.

Plans call for moving it away from the river bank before fall rains begin, and then undertaking a more complete study and public review to figure out what to do with the structure long-term.

Officials said they do not yet have details about how and when they will move the chalet.

Body of Mason County man found after child porn arrest

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A body found floating near the Bremerton, Wash., marina has been identified as that of a prominent Mason County man arrested last week for investigation of possessing child pornography.

Bremerton Police Chief Steven Strachan said the body found Tuesday is that of 52-year-old Frank Edward McDonald of Belfair. The chief says initial indications are that the death was a suicide.

The Kitsap Sun reports ( http://is.gd/XFIAem ) McDonald was released from jail last Friday following an initial court appearance.

McDonald was a volunteer fire captain and an elected commissioner of Mason County Public Hospital District No. 2. He was a manager for Seattle Public Utilities.

Investigators were led to McDonald after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that in December a person in Belfair had twice uploaded images of minors engaged in explicit conduct from the Internet to a mobile device. The tip included a specific Verizon IP address registered to McDonald.

Raymond adopts ordinance allowing All Terrain Vehicles on some streets

You can now drive your ATV on some streets in Raymond – as long as you have the proper paperwork. The city announced yesterday that they have approved ordinance 1823 which authorizes the use of Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicles on city streets within the city limits of Raymond with a number of requirements and restrictions. This ordinance will take effect on February 24, 2014.

ATV’s/ORV’s must have a vehicle inspection form (Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle Declaration) completed by an authorized ATV/ORV Dealer or repair shop.

The City of Raymond has three qualified repair shops: NAPA, Steve’s Front End and AP Auto. After an inspection is completed the form must be kept with vehicle and registration at all times. In the future this form will be required to receive an ON-Road tab from DOL.

ATV’s/ORV’s must have required equipment to pass the vehicle inspection: Headlight(s), Tail Light, Brake Light, Turn Signals (if riding after dark), Reflectors, Horn, Mirror(s), Brakes, Seat Belt (If an Utility Vehicle), Windshield (if applicable) and a Spark Arrester and Muffler. If your vehicle fails any one of the equipment requirements your vehicle is not approved for On-Road use.

Without the required inspection form, the ATV/ORV will be treated as an unauthorized vehicle. if you are stopped while riding on a city street you are subject to an infraction for OFF-Road vehicle on roadway.

Ordinance 1823 is ONLY approved for city streets that are 35 mph or less.

You MUST have a valid driver’s license (Direct Supervision is not allowed). Helmet is required. Insurance is not required.

Ordinance 1823 was created from the approval of House Bill 1632. ATV’s/ORV’s basically follow the Rules of the Road as a motorcycle.

The Raymond Police Department will be strictly enforcing Rules of the Road when dealing with ATV’s/ORV’s on city streets.

Nothing in this ordinance authorizes the use of ATV’s/ORV’s on Pacific County roads or city of South Bend streets.

http://raymondpolice.com/ordinance1823.pdf

State marine debris hotline going offline at the end of the year

SEATTLE (AP) – State officials say they’re suspending a hotline set up for reporting marine debris because it hasn’t been getting calls.

The hotline was set up so beach-goers and others could report potentially dangerous or tsunami-related marine debris that turned up on Washington’s shorelines.

Officials plan to take the hotline 1-855-WACOAST offline at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

State official Terry Egan says the state hasn’t had a major marine incident in nearly a year and the overall amount of debris found on beaches has also decreased.

People can still report hazardous marine debris such as gas cans and oil drums to another hotline, 1-800-OILS-911.

Those who find non-hazardous marine debris that is suspected from the 2011 Japan tsunami can email DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.

No charges for Aberdeen driver after hitchhiker killed on Highway 12

ROCHESTER, Wash. (AP) – The Washington State Patrol says a hitchhiker was killed Friday morning when he was hit by a commercial truck on Highway 12 near Rochester.
Trooper Guy Gill told us a car had stopped to offer the hitchhiker a ride when he stepped onto the highway and was hit by the truck. The State Patrol identified the pedestrian as 24-year-old Joseph A. Myer of Olympia.
The truck carrying a load of wood chips, driven by a 52 year old Aberdeen man, tried to avoid hitting Myer but could not.

Wash. pulls permits for 2 oil train terminals

HOQUIAM (AP) – Officials are rejecting permits for two major oil-train terminals in Southwest Washington after deciding the projects should face more environmental scrutiny.

The state Shorelines Hearings Board issued a letter Wednesday saying it plans to invalidate the permits for Westway Terminal Co. and Imperium Terminal Services, which want to build oil shipping terminals at the Port of Grays Harbor that could store up to 1.5 million barrels of crude from North Dakota and Alberta. The city of Hoquiam issued the permits last spring, after determining in conjunction with the state Ecology Department that the proposals posed minimal threat to the environment.

Groups including the Quinalt Indian Nation and the Sierra Club appealed. They argued that city and state officials failed to consider the cumulative environmental impacts of having the two terminals running along with a third terminal planned nearby. The board agreed.

The board also says the effects of increased train and vessel traffic need to be considered, as does the damage that could be posed by an oil spill.

USDA issues health alert for some California chicken

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is issuing a public health alert for raw chicken packaged at three Foster Farms facilities in California after 278 people have fallen ill.

The USDA says that strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with chicken distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington state.

The Salmonella outbreak has spread to 18 states, though most of the illnesses have been reported in California.

A spokesman for Foster Farms says no recall is in effect and that the infections were caused by eating undercooked or improperly handled chicken.

The USDA has not directly linked the outbreak of illnesses to a specific product or production period. The USDA mark on suspect packages would read: P6137, P6137A and P7632.

Cooking chicken to 165-degrees kills the Salmonella bacteria.

It's time to cook.... your chicken.

Washington health exchange ready to launch – regardless of federal government shutdown

SEATTLE (AP) – Politicians and administrators launching Washington’s new health care exchange on Tuesday say nothing will stop the state from signing people up for health insurance.

They’re not concerned about technical glitches or being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls and web traffic. They are prepared to take comments and complaints from the public. And they say the debate in the other Washington won’t affect Washington Healthplanfinder, even if there is a federal government shutdown.

State Sen. Karen Keiser says the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and nothing that happens in Washington, D.C., this week will change that. She doesn’t expect protests to disrupt the launch. She adds, however, that the first open enrollment period will last six months, so early protests will not stop what she calls this landmark in history.

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP

Associated Press


Starting today, uninsured residents in Grays Harbor County can enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by calling or visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org Coverage begins on January 1, 2014.


Washington state health exchange ready to launch

Washington residents have six months to buy health insurance through the new exchange during the first enrollment period, which ends in March.

They can sign up online at the Washington Healthplanfinder, on the telephone or in person at community centers, fire stations, libraries, churches and during special events.

The state hopes to enroll 130,000 people for health insurance in 2014 and another 280,000 in 2015, said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

The state estimates about a million Washington state residents do not have health insurance, or about one in seven people. About 325,000 will be eligible to sign up for free insurance through Medicaid.

Others will get a discount on their insurance through a credit on their federal taxes. To find out if they qualify for a tax credit or may be eligible for Medicaid or another program for free insurance for kids, people will need to fill out forms online or access the exchange by telephone or in person.

The exchange will ask for some personal information, such as Social Security numbers, ages and income, but people who just want to check it out and not sign up yet can do so anonymously. The length of the sign-up process depends on how many people live in a household and how much comparison shopping is done.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people who don’t have insurance in 2014 will pay a fine when they file their federal income taxes in early 2015. The fines for people who ignore the new law are scheduled to increase over time.

“We want 6.5 million people to go to healthplanfinder to check it out,” Marchand said.

He said testing and training has been done to handle a lot of visitors with different needs, and the website has been stress tested to handle large numbers of visitors.

“We understand anything could be possible and we’ve taken the steps to make sure we’re ready for that,” Marchand said.

AP Correspondent Rachel La Corte contributed to this story from Olympia.

Online:

Washington Healthplanfinder: http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org

On the telephone:

1-855-923-4633 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.