Feds to start shooting barred owls

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to start dispatching hunters into Northwest forests this fall to start a last-ditch effort to save the threatened northern spotted owl from extinction.

The agency on Tuesday released a final environmental review of an experiment to see if killing more than 3,000 barred owls in four study areas in Oregon, Washington and Northern California will help spotted owls - a threatened species - recover. Final approval is due in a month.

If it works - and there are other studies indicating it will - a regular program to reduce barred owl populations would be considered.

Barred owls are a bigger, more aggressive cousin of the spotted owl. They are less picky about food and forests, and they threaten the spotted owl's survival.

No Tsunami Threat to US West Coast

HONOLULU (AP) - U.S. officials say a 7.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan is not expected to create a tsunami threat in Hawaii or the West Coast.

Federal agencies say that area includes Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. No tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.

The Japan meteorological agency issued a tsunami warning for a wave of up to about 3 feet. The warning was issued for a coastal area of Japan already torn apart by last month's tsunami. Buildings as far away as Tokyo shook for about a minute. Hundreds of aftershocks have shaken the northeast region devastated by the March 11 earthquake, but few have been stronger than 7.0.

Elections and Recounts

The Grays Harbor county Elections Department will be busy December 1st, having certified the November 2nd elections, Herb Welch is Leading Al Carter for county commissioner by 69 votes. That is .28% percent, which forces an automatic machine recount, a race within one quarter of one percent is needed for a hand recount.

The Auditor's office said that voter turnout for Grays Harbor County was 72.99% one of the highest ever.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington election officials say that

more than 71 percent of voters sent in their ballots for this

month's midterm election. Before the election, Secretary of State

Sam Reed predicted 66 percent of Washington's voters would mail in,

drop off and cast ballots. But Reed spokesman Dave Ammons says, as

of yesterday afternoon, turnout was 71.24 percent.

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Three legislative races are headed for

recounts. A spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed says that two

House races and one Senate race all are being declared for recount

by the three counties they're based in. Regardless of the outcome,

Democrats will maintain majorities in the both the House and

Senate.

Tsunami Sirens to Blare Actual Warning Tones Mid-September

Washington State will again be participating in the annual NOAA/National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Communications Test on September 15, 2010 at 10:15 a.m. For the first time as part of this annual test, the Washington State-Local Tsunami Workgroup has requested that Washington State Emergency Management Division activate the All Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) sirens in the outer coastal counties to conduct a true ‘end-to-end’ test of the entire warning system.

The Workgroup, which is comprised of County/Tribal Emergency Managers as well as State and Federal agency representatives, has specifically recommended using the Standard TEST MESSAGE and Actual WARNING TONE as part of this test to help familiarize residents in at-risk coastal communities with the sound made by the sirens during an actual tsunami warning. This test will be different that the routine monthly testing that has been occurring on the first Monday of each month since it will broadcast an audible siren wail tone instead of a chime tone; however, the voice message will be exactly the same as the routine test message.

The standard test message relayed by the AHAB sirens is as follows:

"The following is a test of the siren system. It is only a test. This is a test of the siren warning system. If this had been a real emergency you should tune in to your local radio station or listen to this system for further instructions. This was only a test."

The regular monthly test conducted on the first Monday of every month will be unaffected by this statewide exercise.

Earthquake Felt By Shelton Grays Harbor County Residents

     SHELTON, WA (AP) - The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says a minor earthquake with a magnitude of 3.4 was reported Wednesday night about six miles west-southwest of Shelton, Wash.

The quake was recorded at 8:10 p.m. at a depth of 27 miles. KING-TV says there have been no reports of injuries or damage. 

The Seismic Network is based at the University of Washington.  UW seismology lab coordinator Bill Steele says Western Washington experiences frequent quakes of about magnitude 3.0 - about 10 a year.

Longview port to receive Hawaiian garbage

     LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) - The Port of Longview will process garbage from Hawaii heading to Washington landfills under an agreement recently reached with a shipping company.

Port officials say the deal reached with Daybreak Transportation and Rail Transfer will create more hours for local longshoremen and more work for the little-used crane.

The Longview Daily News reports the garbage, shrink-wrapped in plastic and stored in steel shipping containers, will be unloaded at the port to trucks or trains.

Ticking Package Found at Westport Post Office

     WESTPORT, Wash. (AP) - A ticking package that prompted employees at a Westport, Wash., post office to call police has been determined to be a hoax.

     Westport police tell KBKW News that the package was found to contain some sort of a clock with wires and some fireworks.

     Washington State Patrol Trooper Krista Hedstrom tells us that the package was left on the counter, wrapped in Christmas wrapping, and that the Bomb Squad determined it to be a hoax device. U.S. postal inspectors will take over the investigation into the matter and charges could be pending for the parties involved.

    The U.S. postal Service said that hoax devices can cause panic. A note was also found with the box but authorities did not disclose what it said.

 

Washington Court Limits Child Pornography Charges, New Sentencing for Grays Harbor Resident

     OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has ruled that defendants accused of possessing multiple images of child pornography can only be prosecuted for a single offense, not multiple counts based on the number of images or children involved.

The court decision Thursday upheld an appeals court ruling ordering a new sentencing in Grays Harbor County Superior Court for Randy Sutherby on a single count. He had originally been convicted of 10.

The Supreme Court says the proper unit for child pornography prosecution is one count per possession, rather than for each image or each child. The court separately reversed Sutherby's convictions for child
rape and child molestation, because his lawyer was ineffective. He had been accused of assaulting a 5-year-old girl in 2004. Investigators found pictures in his computer.