Latest Washington news, sports, business, and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. PDT


Jeff Bezos says he will hand over the baton to Amazon’s new CEO on July 5th

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has selected a date to step down as CEO. Bezos expanded Amazon from an internet bookstore to an online shopping giant. He said on Wednesday that Amazon’s executive director Andy Jassy will take over the role of CEO on July 5th. Jassy currently heads the company’s cloud computing business. Bezos said it was exactly 27 years ago, 1994, when Amazon was founded. Seattle-based Amazon first announced that Bezos would step down as CEO in February, but did not announce a specific date. Bezos won’t get very far: he becomes the company’s CEO and focuses on new products and initiatives.


Farmers buy land, make stocks through closed Oregon irrigation canal

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) – Two farmers with ties to anti-government activist Ammon Bundy bought land through a cordoned irrigation canal in Oregon that would normally provide water for a massive federal irrigation project along the California-Oregon border. The move comes after federal regulators cut off all water supplies from the project’s main A Canal due to extreme drought. Jefferson Public Radio reports that there is an information tent on the premises at the main gate of the canal and a protest is planned for Thursday. The last time the water was closed to farmers, protesters forced the canal’s main gates to open three times in 2001 before the federal marshals arrived.


The study looks for the origins of ghost nets that haunt Hawaii’s shores

HONOLULU (AP) – “Ghost nets” of unknown origin drift between the currents of the Pacific, threatening marine animals of all kinds and polluting the coasts with the tangled remains of what they kill. This gear, lost or discarded at sea a few decades ago, continues to devastate Hawaii’s ecosystems. Now researchers are doing detective work to trace these nets back to fisheries and manufacturers. Ghost nets exist in oceans around the world, but the Hawaiian Islands – with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the east and another circle of floating garbage to the west – are an epicenter for marine litter.


7. Washington residents arrested in Capitol uprising

BATTLE GROUND, Washington (AP) – A man from southwest Washington who was seen on a video labeled “Our House” when he was with his father at the US Capitol on January 6, according to federal investigators, kicked off first appeared in federal court in Portland. Oregon, on Wednesday. The Oregonian / OregonLive reports that Jeremy Grace is being charged from the battlefield with illegal intrusion, disorderly behavior and demonstration inside the restricted building. His father, Jeffrey Grace, was arrested in February and charged with the deadly riot at the US Capitol. Neither have complaints filed. Efforts to find the men’s lawyers were not immediately successful.


Seattle Closes Mass Vaccination Centers; 60% vaccinated

SEATTLE (AP) – The city of Seattle is closing all but one COVID-19 bulk vaccination sites next month as more than 76% of eligible Seattle residents have received at least one shot and 60% are fully vaccinated, according to authorities. Authorities announced on Wednesday that the city-operated locations in Lumen Field, Rainier Beach, West Seattle and North Seattle College will close in June. The Seattle Times reports that the Seattle Fire Department will continue to operate its testing and vaccination facility in the SODO neighborhood south of downtown through the summer. The city says it will continue to offer mobile vaccinations and expand vaccination clinics as needed.


Leading Dems seek out health plan information for public options

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two leading Congressional Democrats are calling for ideas for health insurance with “public option,” an election promise made by President Joe Biden that faces great political opportunity. Washington Senator Patty Murray and New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone say the sweeping request they made on Wednesday is a first step towards craft legislation. A new Medicare-style public health plan was a long-time Liberal goal, and Biden adopted it in the 2020 presidential campaign. But insurers and hospitals are rejecting the idea, and doctors are cautious. Republicans are likely to revive accusations of jerking toward “socialism”.


The Seattle police chief downgrades the commander for protest conflict

SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle interim police chief has downgraded the deputy chief of police who was responsible when officers in riot gear fired tear gas explosive balls at a crowd of protesters on Capitol Hill after an officer had a tug-of-war with a protester over an umbrella in June . The Seattle Times reports that interim chief Adrian Diaz’s decision means the deputy chief who was the incident commander will be restored to the rank of captain. Diaz’s decision was set out in a letter to Councilman Lisa Herbold on Wednesday and posted on the department’s website. The deputy boss was not named. The June 1 clash came amid widespread anti-racial protests after police killed George Floyd.


Police: Gun suspect worked in Washington State Prison

LAKE STEVENS, Washington (AP) – Washington state authorities have identified a man who police believe fatally shot and killed his roommate this week as a longtime correctional officer at the Monroe Correctional Complex. The Daily Herald reported that Emmanuel Perez, 44, was arrested Monday for domestic violence murder and was sent to Snohomish County Jail. Police said he ran away from a shooting scene in a Lake Stevens apartment complex and had a 0.40 caliber pistol, drugs and other drug paraphernalia. His lawyer, John Chase, said Perez worked in prison for about 14 years. Court records confirm that he was employed at the facility as early as 2008.


Police are looking for clues after confirming it is a missing man

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – According to police, the remains found in southern Washington state are those of a missing Oregon man. The Corvallis Gazette reports that Christian Long’s remains were found on the banks of the Columbia River in Cowlitz County in May 2019, but could not be identified at that time. Long from Corvallis was 19 years old when his father Donald Long reported him missing in December 2016. Police did not release any information about a cause of death and said the case was “an open investigation”. Detective Greg Kantola said in a press release that police are confident there are people who have information about the circumstances surrounding his death and are asking people to come forward.


Vancouver to set up a camp for the unprotected for the first time

VANCOUVER, Washington (AP) – The City of Vancouver, Washington is preparing campsites for vulnerable people. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports this is the first time such an effort has been made in the city. A plan unveiled this week would create at least one organized camp somewhere within the city limits with a capacity for 20 to 40 campers by September. The city’s employees plan to have up to three such areas in operation by December. Vancouver City Council appeared unanimous on Monday, but no official action was taken. Where the proposed camps would go remains unclear. City officials say they are planning a flash of public relations before the plans take shape.

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