Most state offices closed today

first_imgMost Washington state offices are closed Friday for another furlough day.About 35,000 state employees at 50 agencies are affected.This is the second of 10 unpaid days the state expects will cut about $70 million in spending. The first was July 12 and the next one will be Sept. 7.Public health and safety workers are exempt from the furloughs. They include state troopers, prison guards and child protection workers.last_img

Plastic bag ban not likely to cross Columbia River

first_imgIt wasn’t exactly a surprise when the city of Portland officially banned single-use plastic bags in large grocery stores.It wasn’t exactly a surprise when the city of Portland officially banned single-use plastic bags in large grocery stores.The idea had been kicked around in discussions for more than a year before city commissioners approved the ban July 21 — and action occurred only after the Oregon Legislature couldn’t make a statewide ban happen. Portland’s ban takes effect Oct. 15.Don’t expect the ubiquitous plastic bags to disappear in Vancouver anytime soon. They’re actually becoming more of a headache for the Clark County recycling program, said county waste reduction specialist Rob Guttridge.“We try to really make it easy to recycle,” he said. “Unfortunately, that makes it easy to put things in the recycling that shouldn’t be there.”The bags most often cause problems by gumming up the county’s sorting machines, Guttridge said, noting plastic film tends to wrap itself around the rollers used to separate items picked up from curbside recycling bins. Recyclable items such as cardboard, for example, are not acceptable if they’re wrapped in plastic, he said. The Portland ban targets grocery stores with gross annual sales of $2 million or more. Two of Clark County’s most prevalent grocers, Safeway and Fred Meyer, fall into that category. But representatives of both companies said they have no plans for a larger change outside Portland.last_img read more

Washougal standoff Homeowner has record of jail time white separatist views

first_imgThe 47-year-old owner of the Washougal home set ablaze Wednesday morning during a gunfire-filled standoff with police is apparently a self-proclaimed white separatist arrested in Northern Idaho in the mid-1990s, court documents and archived news reports reveal. He was known to be violent and heavily armed.Steven Douglas Stanbary was sentenced to three months in jail for simple assault in Bonner County, Idaho, after authorities found numerous weapons in his home. He had threatened to kill his ex-wife, his children and himself, according to 1995 Associated Press reports.“He had enough ammunition for World War III,” then-Bonner County Sheriff Chip Roos said at the time. Stanbary’s ex-wife told police he admired anti-government cult hero Randy Weaver. Weaver was considered by the federal government to be a white supremacist, though Weaver himself said he did not officially belong to Northern Idaho’s Aryan Nations church.On Wednesday, a man at the Stanbary home in Washougal apparently set the house on fire and shot high-powered weapons for approximately 90 minutes, even as the home continued to burn. The shooter, a male, had not been identified as of late Wednesday.While no officials have confirmed the homeowner is the same man as the Idaho convict, court records reveal both men were born in January 1964. And an Idaho listing for Steven Stanbary lists his wife as Leona Bolton. Leona Stanbary is the co-owner of the Washougal home.last_img read more

WSUV program links technology with community

first_imgTo those who see Google’s search engine as a form of magic, Dene Grigar is easily a master magician.Kicking off a recent technology workshop, the Washington State University associate professor typed the letters “CMDC” into her Apple computer. Workshop participants, many of them small business owners, watched on a video projector as links to WSUV’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program popped into the second and fourth positions on the Google search engine, out of 384,000 possibilities.“Are you going to show us how to get there?” an astonished older man called out from the back of the darkened room.Grigar, whose first name is pronounced “dee-nee,” did precisely that over the next hour, stripping away the sense of magic and showing businesses and nonprofits how to make the Internet work for them.The late November session, the last in a seven-week series called Technology 101, is one element of what Creative Media and Digital Culture director Grigar calls “civic engagement” between her program and the larger community. The free workshops, which will be offered again in the spring, are part of that engagement. So is the project work undertaken by students for businesses and community groups, including the Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Downtown Association, and Fort Vancouver. A mobile phone application that includes historical re-enactments at Fort Vancouver’s village, still in a testing phase, already is grabbing attention from the National Park Service.Next up: Students are working on a long-term exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland that will showcase technological innovation in automobiles. Vancouver-based Dick Hannah auto dealerships has contributed $40,000 to the exhibit, scheduled to open sometime around May. At Grigar’s request, the company also donated $68,500 for scholarships to 10 of the program’s students this summer. The students created a mobile phone application that connects Hannah customers with emergency roadside services, one of two mobile apps developed during the class.“We have a real interest in cultivating homegrown technology,” says Ken VanArnam, Dick Hannah’s marketing director.To Grigar, 57, it all fits the university’s role of serving the community and her conviction thattechnology opens a new world of possibilities. She taught her own father, who had owned a small business, how to use a computer when he was 85. She’s held workshops requiring students to live a day without technology to help them see what life is like for people who are trying to find homes or jobs without using computers.last_img read more

Cowlitz tribe objects to St Helens dam plan

first_imgLONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — The Cowlitz Indian tribe is objecting to a Corps of Engineers proposal to raise a sediment retention dam on the Toutle River by 10 feet.The tribe says the longer-range plan to raise the spillway 30 feet could hurt chances for salmon and steelhead in the upper watershed.The Daily News reports (http://is.gd/ro1YFR) this is the first time the tribe has opposed work to control sediments from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.The corps says the volcanic silt is washing downstream and slowly raising the riverbed — increasing the risk of flooding in the Cowlitz River.The tribe wants an environmental impact statement that would postpone work on the sediment dam for at least a year.last_img read more

2014 study of St Helens magma system will be among worlds largest

first_imgUpgrades to equipment aim to get a pulse on Mount St. HelensResearchers are setting the stage for an ambitious project in 2014 to investigate the system of magma flow underneath Mount St. Helens.The National Science Foundation has already announced grants to several institutions for the study, but it will take about two years to set up the field work, said Vancouver scientist Seth Moran.“It will be one of the biggest multi-disciplinary volcano imaging experiments in the world,” said Moran, a U.S. Geological Surveyseismologist with the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver. “One or two are being studied pretty thoroughly; this is the first one in the U.S.”The three-year project will use several geological and geophysical investigation techniques featuring more than 3,000 seismic instruments — some of them arrayed dozens of miles from the peak.The title of the NSF grant hints at the research goals: “Illuminating the Architecture of the Greater Mount St. Helens Magmatic System from Slab to Surface.”“The ‘slab’ is the Juan de Fuca Plate. That is the engine providing all the energy for earthquakes” in this region, Moran explained. “The fluids coming from that slab are driving the vulcanism” in the Cascades.last_img read more

Alcohol amnesty for minors law signed

first_imgThose under 21 who call for medical help for a drunk friend — and the friend — won’t face minor-in-possession-of-alcohol charges under a bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last week.The law, approved by the Legislature last month, is meant to encourage minors to call 911 by removing the fear of prosecution. It follows a similar law for drug overdoses passed in 2010.By expanding the law to cover alcohol, Washington has joined a growing list of states that have embraced the policy, sometimes over stark opposition due to fears it could encourage underage drinking.Twelve states have now passed alcohol “good Samaritan” laws since Colorado approved the first one in 2005, according to The Medical Amnesty Initiative, a national nonprofit established last year to boost the policy.Six other states are in the process of approving a version of the policy, said initiative founder AaronLetzeiser, a 23-year-old recent Michigan State University graduate who got passionate about the idea in college.“We don’t support underage drinking, but unfortunately it’s something that’s never going to be at zero,” Letzeiser said. “This is a policy that can really help to save young lives.”last_img read more

Bibles and bull riding at Clark County Rodeo Bible Camp with video

first_imgThe sun hasn’t crested the horizon yet, but boots are already kicking up dust around the horse stalls.Clark County Rodeo Bible Camp participants hoist hay-filled wheelbarrows and haul hoses to replenish water before most folks have even hit the alarm clock snooze button.“We get up, we feed them twice a day, in the morning and at night. We have to clean their stalls, we put them out to pasture,” camper Hana Wyles, 14, of Battle Ground says of horse duty. “It’s definitely a big part of your life and … that’s just the way you live.”However, not all the campers are early risers. Camp founder Larry Cutler, bullhorn in hand, knows just how to wake them up. Cutler steps to an opening in the large canvas tent and pops a couple of short siren bursts.“OK, get up! You got about three minutes to get up or the food’s going away,” he says.The threat of missing breakfast is enough to get the teens to their feet.The camp, which was started four years ago by retired rodeo veteran Cutler of Scio, Ore., and his friend Joe Thompson of Camas, has grown from about 10 teens to 103. It’s basically a Bible camp; rodeo is the draw, Cutler says.“If we get 100 kids here, I found that maybe, just maybe, one or two will go on to become professional cowboys. But I guarantee you all 100 of them will meet God someday.”last_img read more

SeaTac minimum wage measure up by 46 votes

first_imgSEATAC — An initiative that seeks to establish a $15 minimum wage for many workers in SeaTac is leading by 46 votes.After Saturday’s ballot drop, the measure was passing with 2,936 “yes” votes to 2,890 “no” votes.On election night, the initiative was leading by a 261-vote margin.Washington has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour; the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.last_img

Roach paper art a labor of layers

first_imgCheck out Cliff Maynard’s Website at www.roachpaperart.comFor more on Tom Lauerman, visit on.fb.me/1qmbYTqCliff Maynard discovered his unusual artistic medium one stoned night in art school, as he clipped his way through copies of Fangoria and High Times magazines.His assignment, about 15 years ago at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, was to create a mosaic out of color swatches clipped from various publications. And, being a poor art school student, he also found himself building a marijuana cigarette out of roaches — the stubby leftover ends of joints that some people throw away.“I had no money for anything, so I broke open my roaches — because in that situation you save your roaches until you have no pot and then you smoke them,” Maynard said. “And on one side of me are these magazine clippings, and on the other side are bits and pieces of joints. It was like a Reese’s (Peanut Butter Cup) moment, where I looked and was like ‘Hey, chocolate! Hey, peanut butter! Yum!’ “That eureka moment launched him on the path to becoming a roach paper mosaic artist, he said. But he started with a roadblock in his path: He didn’t have enough roach papers for a full mosaic.“So I start asking all my friends, save all your papers for me, I’m going to do a portrait of Jesus with them,” Maynard said. “I wanted to do something respectful of Jesus, but I also wanted that interesting contrast with the medium.”Along with his friends, he also asked his father — the man who taught him to roll his first joint — if he could save papers for the project as well.last_img read more

Hays and Plusnet shortlisted for best flexible benefits plan

first_imgHays and Plusnet are among the organisations that have been shortlisted in the best flexible benefits plan category at the Employee Benefits Awards 2017.This award celebrates the most effective use of a flexible benefits strategy within an organisation.The full category shortlist is:Atkins, Your Reward (Entered by Capita Employee Benefits)Hays, You Choose And My WellbeingPlusnet, Plusnet Perks (Entered by Benefex)The winner will be announced at the Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party at the Artillery Garden at the HAC, London, on 9 June 2017.See the full shortlist.For more information and to book your place.last_img read more

Aurecon enhances family benefits for Australian and New Zealand staff

first_imgEngineering organisation Aurecon has enhanced its family-friendly benefits for its 1,890 Australia and New Zealand-based employees, including the launch of a shared care benefit.The new shared care benefit provides financial support to help secondary carers take on primary carer roles. The support can be accessed in three different situations. First, if an Aurecon employee takes over as their child’s primary carer when their partner returns to work, they will then be able to access the organisation’s paid parental leave benefit. Second, an Aurecon employee can receive 150% of their salary if they return to work and their partner is the primary carer for their child, but their partner cannot receive paid primary carers’ leave from their own employer. Third, if both parents work for Aurecon, they can both access the organisation’s paid parental leave arrangement.The scheme is available to birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and same-sex parents who have six months’ continuous service at the organisation. The scheme applies in the first year of a child’s life.The organisation currently offers its employees 14 weeks of paid parental leave, although employees can take up to 52 weeks of leave in total if parental leave is combined with other forms of leave, such as annual leave, unpaid leave, and the government’s paid parental scheme. Aurecon provides superannuation payments, the workplace pension arrangement in place in Australia, for both the 14 weeks of paid parental leave as well as 14 weeks of the unpaid portion of the organisation’s parental leave offering.The Australian government’s paid parental leave scheme entitles primary carers to up to 18 weeks of paid leave at the national minimum wage rate, and fathers and partners are entitled to two weeks of paid leave. The rate currently stands at $695 a week (£421).Aurecon will also introduce both a parental room and a children’s room at its Brisbane office to further support its working parents. These rooms are designed to enable employees on parental leave or those with children to bring their children in to the office in order to attend short meetings without having to arrange childcare.Existing initiatives that provide support for employees with caring responsibilities include a flexible-working platform, which allows Aurecon employees to nominate their daily start and finish times across their working week.William Cox, managing director, Australia and New Zealand at Aurecon, said: “Shared care will not suit all Aurecon parents and is not intended to encourage mothers to return to work before they are ready. Rather, it provides a source of financial support for Aurecon primary carers who choose to return to work within the child’s first year. Shared care is inclusive of all families including same-sex relationships, and is available to birth parents, adoptive and foster parents.”last_img read more

Cheaney returns to Coffin Mew

first_imgLiz Cheaney has returned to law firm Coffin Mew as its new director of HR and communication.Cheaney, who is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and has more than 20 years of experience in the professional services sector, will bring her expertise in staff development and strategic growth to her new position.Cheaney’s previous roles at Coffin Mew include HR and communications director, and HR director. She has also worked for Francis Clark Chartered Accountants as director of HR.last_img read more

34 of employee absences in financial services are related to mental ill

first_imgAround a third (34%) of employee absences in the financial services sector since 2013 have been due to mental ill health, according to research by AdviserPlus.Its analysis of over 250,000 of its employee records also found that 24% of employee absence days in the retail sector since 2013 relate to mental health.The research also found:22% of employee absences in the utilities sector since 2013 have been due to mental ill health.33% of male respondents have been absent from work in the last year due to mental ill health, compared to 29% of women.35% of absences for 26 to 35-year-olds are linked to mental ill health, compared to 23% of mental health related absences for 56 to 65-year-olds.Chris Clarke (pictured), chief executive officer at AdviserPlus, said: “Mental ill health is the biggest reason for long-term absence in the UK, accounting for over 15 million working days lost in 2016. Our data suggests that the financial crisis and increased personal responsibility under new regulations are taking their toll on those working in financial services. The percentage of absences in the sector due to mental ill health has increased year on year.“It’s crucial that financial sector businesses measure the level of workplace absences due to mental ill health within their organisation, and have plans in place to respond. Line managers need to be properly trained, to enable them to spot the early signs that someone may be suffering from mental ill health so that they are able to provide help and support before the illness becomes more serious.“With male suicide now the single biggest killer of men under 45 it’s no surprise that men have a higher percentage of absences due to mental ill health. Thankfully, businesses are starting to follow in the footsteps of sport and other sectors where men have been placed front and centre when it comes to tackling mental ill health.“However, it’s worrying that mental ill health is more prevalent among younger members of the workforce. This may be because people are more likely to go through periods of increased stress between the ages of 26 and 35 when life changes such as marriage, children and, career advancement are heightened.“Employers need to use data analytics to assess if particular age groups are being affected in their work place. If they are, they need to tailor the support they offer to address the particular issues those individuals are likely to be facing.”last_img read more

1 dead in Miami Gardens shooting near strip mall apartment complex

first_imgMIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – A shooting near a Miami Gardens strip mall has left one man dead, Monday morning.According to Miami Gardens Police, an adult male was shot in the area of 183rd Street, between 45th and 47th avenues, before 8 a.m.The man was airlifted to Aventura Hospital after police arrived, where he later died.7Skyforce flew over the scene as police were seen surrounding a vehicle in the parking lot near the strip mall.Across the street, police were also seen surrounding the entrance of the Vista View Apartments. Both the entrance and exit of the apartment complex were blocked off.Both eastbound and westbound of 183rd Street in the area have been shutdown as the investigation continues.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Alligator spotted lounging outside Central Florida home

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. A Central Florida homeowner was in for a scaly surprise right in her front yard.Christina Broeker recorded video of an alligator lounging right in front of her Winter Garden home, early Thursday morning.Broeker said the four-foot reptile just showed up. “I was panicked, really. Thank God for vigilant neighbors,” she said. “They let me know, I have two young, 19-month-old twins and a small pet, so I was really concerned about my children and my pets.”However, Broeker’s home wasn’t the only place the alligator was interested in. “And then after about twenty minutes of watching it, it just picked up and started moving, and it started moving behind a lot of my neighbors’ houses,” she said. “I was having to ring their doorbells and let them know to stay inside.”Concerned for the safety of her twin toddlers, the homeowner called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It took them all of a minute to take care of it,” she said. “They assured me that they’re gonna relocate it to another pond.”Now that it’s gone, Broeker is relieved, but she knows they’re the ones living in gator territory. “Unfortunately for the gators, there’s a lot of building out here, and they have nowhere to go, so they’re moving into our neighborhood lakes,” she said. “It’s just important for us to be vigilant and understand.”Broeker said she looks forward to watching her children grow up safely — and, she hopes, gator free. last_img read more

Robber chases assaults store owner in Miami

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for an armed robber who targeted a Miami store and assaulted an employee.Surveillance cameras rolled as the man demanded cash from the owner of the Saint Jacques Le Majeur store in Miami back in October. We need your help in identifying the armed suspect 👇who attempted to rob the St. Jacques Le Majeur Store, 125 NW 62 St, on 10/20 at 1:30pm. pic.twitter.com/f3GaOuYQ0h— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) November 14, 2017The video shows the robber hitting her throughout the aisles.The owner broke free and ran out the door for help, but the robber continued to chase and beat her.He eventually gave up and left empty-handed from the store. If you have any information on this attempted robbery, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Officials search for subject caught breaking into Miami Metro PCS

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police are searching for a man who was caught on surveillance cameras breaking into a Metro PCS store on Feb. 2.Officials have now released the surveillance footage in hopes of catching the subject, who can be seen busting the front glass door of the business along Southwest First Street and 10th Avenue.The subject could be seen raiding the store before taking off with the cash register.If you have any information on this subject’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

President Trumps star on Hollywood Walk of Fame destroyed

first_img(WSVN) – Authorities are investigating after someone destroyed President Donald Trump’s star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.According to the Hollywood Reporter, witnesses say a man walked up with a guitar case, pulled out a pickaxe and demolished the star.The star has been vandalized numerous times. However, this is the second time it has been completely destroyed.At this point, it is unknown if police have anyone in custody.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more