Today’s News Headlines

KELA News Headlines for Monday, January 16, 2017

Flu reaches epidemic levels in Washington

Health officials say the number of flu deaths in Washington state is up to 46. The reports the Washington State Department of Health said Friday the flu is now at an epidemic level in the state. Officials say 38 of the 46 deaths occurred in people who were 65 or older. Authorities say influenza infection numbers are extremely high in Washington, as they are in many states. Hospitalization rates in Snohomish County are nearly double the 2014-2015 season and triple what the state saw last year. Officials say the number of deaths through last week is the highest it has been in the last five seasons.

Stage One burn ban in Thurston County

A Stage 1 Burn Ban is in effect in Thurston County due to the current weather conditions. Under a Stage 1 Ban, no burning is allowed in fireplaces or uncertified wood stoves, and all outdoor burning is prohibited, even in areas where outdoor burning is not permanently banned. Additionally, no visible smoke is allowed from any woodstove or fireplace, certified or not, beyond a 20-minute start-up period. The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency issued the ban effective at 2 PM last Friday and it will remain in effect until conditions improve.

Weather change brings potential for flooding

It looks like we are finally going to see an end to the cold weather that we have had over the past several weeks. However, KELA weatherman Dean Dahlin says with the warmer temperatures and the rain that is forecast to begin sometime Tuesday, it could bring the potential for some flooding later Tuesday and Wednesday. Dean says at this time it is too early to tell just how much rain we will get but he doesn’t think it will be a repeat of Feb. 1996 because he doesn’t think the storm track will stay around very long.

Possible new evidence in DB Cooper case

Amateur scientists chosen by the Seattle FBI to search for clues in the mystery of the skyjacker known as D.B. Cooper may have found new evidence. KING-TV reports a team has been analyzing particles taken from a clip-on tie left by Cooper after he hijacked a passenger jet in 1971 and then vanished out the back wearing a parachute and pack with $200,000. An electron microscope located over 100,000 particles including some elements that lead researcher Tom Kaye says could have been found in the manufacturing of Boeing’s high-tech Super Sonic Transport plane.

Borst Parks Lights very successful in December

The 2016 Borst Park Lights Christmas lights display was the most successful ever.  Centralia Mayor Pro-Tem Lee Coumbs, who started the event and has continued to organize it, told the Centralia City Council last week that they had over 16,000 visitors during the 16-day run. He says this year they raised over $20,000 and collected more than 6 tons of food that was given to Hub City Mission and Gather Church. Coumbs says they have already begun planning for the 2017 Borst Park Lights display.