5 things to know this Wednesday

Conconully flash floods; sentencing to death of a WSP soldier; car burglary legislation; protecting access to abortion in Washington; Decline in salmon-threatening killer whales.

Town of Conconully recovering from 4th July flash floods

A July 4 flash flood ripped through the streets of the tiny town of Conconully in remote Okanogan County, sending a foot of water and mud into 30 to 40 homes and businesses.

“The stream came over the bridge,” said resident Angie Eberhart. “The whole thing was clogged with trees and debris, and water just poured through.”

Eberhart owns Kozy Kabins, a cabin rental and RV site. Several of her cabins were damaged. Continue reading

Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Causing Death of Washington State Patrol Officer

William Thompson will serve the next 45 years in prison for causing a crash on I-5 that killed Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin Schaffer in 2020.

Lewis County Judge Andrew Toynbee gave Thompson the maximum sentence after an emotional hearing Tuesday afternoon.

On March 24, 2020, Thurston County deputies chased Thompson down I-5 after a robbery at a grocery store. Thompson was charged with attempting to run over a vendor.

When the chase reached Chehalis, Trooper Schaffer attempted to stop Thompson with spike strips. Investigators said Thompson, 41, drove around the strips and then purposely drove toward Schaffer and ran him over. Continue reading

The proposed legislation aims to tackle car break-ins at King County’s trailheads

In the summer more people go on test drives and with that more and more cars are broken into.

To counteract this, King County Councilman Reagan Dunn is introducing legislation to place safety measures such as surveillance cameras and signage at high-risk parks and trailheads in the county.

The legislation also requires the county to identify which exit points are at higher risk of auto break-ins. Dunn is looking for a group of volunteers to take care of the parked cars and report any violations or suspicious activity. Finally, lawmakers want to reduce the number of cars in parking lots by expanding Trailhead Connect at the previously identified trailheads. Continue reading

Lawmakers are calling for protections for access to abortions in Washington state

In Washington state, where abortion remains legal, more and more people are seeking help, according to Jennifer Allen, executive director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.

“We’re already seeing patients from across the country,” Allen said.

Allen said that immediately after Roe v. Wade through the Supreme Court and a number of states began banning or blocking abortion. The Washington State Medical Association fears it will eventually overwhelm clinics here. Continue reading

Decline in salmon threatens killer whales from the south, study finds

Southern killer whales have not had enough food for several years, which could impact their already small numbers, according to a study by the University of British Columbia.

Researchers studied the requirements and availability of prey for killer whales that live in the Northeast Pacific to the south. The study found that fluctuating numbers of salmon from river spawning grounds were adversely affecting the health of killer whales and threatening a small and vulnerable group of whales.

“It really looks like they can’t take it [many] rougher years,” said Fanny Couture, the study’s lead investigator. Continue reading

RELATED: Western Washington forecast

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