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FARM Settlement

Washington Farm pays more than $ 2 million after COVID deaths

SPOKANE, Washington (AP) – Washington State has reached an agreement with Gebbers Farms Operations, LP to spend more than $ 2 million on improving housing, quality of life, safety and access to health care for farm workers and their families. Washington State’s Department of Labor and Industry on Wednesday announced a settlement on a case involving one of the largest occupational health and safety fines in the state’s history. Gebbers Farms, based in Brewster, Washington, was fined $ 2 million and $ 13,200 after two inspections in 2020 found 24 outrageous willful violations – 12 for unsafe temporary accommodation and 12 for unsafe worker transport during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two farm workers died of coronavirus while living and working on the farm.


Portland Mayor: Police should prepare for body cameras

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler instructs police to prepare for a body-worn camera program in anticipation of the US Department of Justice enforcing the issue. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports, Wheeler said in a statement Tuesday that he is not alone in assisting police body-worn cameras and that at least 75 other major government agencies are using police body-worn cameras. The Justice Department urges the city to put in place body cameras and other accountability measures to bring the city back into line with the 2014 Settlement Agreement. Wheeler said he had directed the police to begin investigating the various camera systems available.


Microsoft requires US employees to be fully vaccinated

REDMOND, Washington (AP) – According to Microsoft, employees must be fully vaccinated starting next month in order to enter the company’s U.S. offices and other workplaces. The Redmond-based tech giant told its employees Tuesday that it will need proof of vaccination for all employees, salespeople and guests entering Microsoft buildings in the United States for protected reasons, such as religion, that prevent them from vaccinating The company is also delaying his return to the office until October 4th.


Smoke, ash, heat and drought are damaging Washington’s agriculture

SEATTLE (AP) – It’s been a rough summer for agriculture across Washington state. Plants like berries struggle with record heat and drought. Now, some are concerned about how smoke in August might stunt the growth of some plants should the haze intensify and persist. Jennifer Schuh has been working with her father Steve Schuh in the Skagit Valley for decades, growing everything from corn to berries, squash, cucumbers to pumpkins. She said a long, thick smoke could damage her crops. Steve Schuh says that ashes on a plant can block access to light and food. Some winemakers say the smoke hasn’t affected their grapes yet, but things could get bad in August.


WA sees 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 per day in the past few days

OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) – Washington state has recorded an average of 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 per day over the past four days, and health officials announced Tuesday that they were due not only to an increase in cases but also to hospital stays the highly contagious Delta variant. The Ministry of Health said hospital occupancy is at its highest level this year, with more than 600 people hospitalized with COVID-19, up more than 20% from last week. Officials say more than 94% of all recent cases, deaths and hospital admissions in Washingtoners ages 12 and older involve people who have not been fully vaccinated.


Oregon health worker to get COVID vaccine or to be tested

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) – Oregon healthcare workers are required to get vaccinated or have weekly tests. Governor Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that the new rule will apply from September 30th – it will give employers time to prepare for implementation and give unvaccinated health care workers time to be fully vaccinated. As COVID-19 rises across the country, leading state health organizations – including the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems – have urged state leaders to open the door to health organizations to enact vaccination regulations. On Monday, officials from one of Oregon’s largest private health systems announced that health care workers must be vaccinated along with the rest of the staff.


The Seattle Mayor’s primaries begin the struggle between liberal camps

SEATTLE (AP) – Voters in Seattle’s mayoral election have made a choice of candidates who represent the political divide between leftist residents and more moderate progressives in one of the country’s most liberal cities. Former city council member Bruce Harrell led all early return candidates on Tuesday. Harrell has called for more police officers to be hired to curb the increase in shootings and is backed by the business community. The first two winners of the non-partisan race will qualify for the elections in November. In the parliamentary elections, he is likely to face the President of the City Council, M. Lorena González. González, who finished in second place, criticized Seattle’s police force and called for reform of a department that is under federal supervision.


State officials kill 2 wolf pups after killing 4 wolves OK’d

SALEM, Oregon (AP) – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials shot dead two wolf pups Sunday after granting ranchers permission to kill up to four un-collared wolves in eastern Oregon. Oregonian / OregonLive reports that the agency said employees shot and killed two Lookout Mountain pack puppies in a helicopter. The state agency previously said it had granted a ranchers permission to kill wolves in Baker County, where officials said the Lookout Mountain pack attacked four cows in the last two weeks of July. Agency spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said the puppy killing “reduced the pack’s food needs and disrupted the pack’s behavior so that they would not associate cattle with a simple meal.”


Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates are finalizing their divorce

SEATTLE (AP) – Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates have finalized their divorce. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife announced in May that they would end their 27-year marriage, and a King County Supreme Court judge signed the dissolution decree on Monday. The New York Times reports that the court documents did not detail how they would split their assets. Bill Gates used to be the richest person in the world and his fortune is estimated at around $ 150 billion. The two met after joining Microsoft in 1987 as a product manager. They got married in Hawaii in 1994. The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world with foundation assets of around 50 billion US dollars.


Community honors killed Washington detective

VANCOUVER, Washington (AP) – Hundreds of law enforcement and other vehicles stood at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington on Tuesday for a procession in honor of Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown, who was shot dead while on surveillance. The Colombian reports that Brown was shot dead on July 23 while sitting in his vehicle in an apartment parking lot. While on duty in the sheriff’s office, Brown served as a correctional and patrol assistant. He worked with the Washington State Department of Corrections and as a reserve officer in the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana. Several people were arrested in connection with his death.

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