Today’s News Headlines
Lawmakers Pass Capital Budget
State lawmakers late Thursday approved a $4.3 billion construction budget and legislation to address a rural water-rights debate that had stalled the spending plan since the spring of 2017. Party leaders announced a compromise Thursday morning to address a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling on water conservation, known as the Hirst decision. The Hirst order increased counties’ responsibilities for regulating the drilling of small wells. The deal on the Hirst decision paved the way for passage of the Capital Budget by both chambers of the Legislature. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign both measures in upcoming days.
Hearing for Chehalis Teen in Explicit Photos Extortion Delayed
A hearing to decide whether a Chehalis boy will face charges as an adult for allegedly collecting explicit photos of classmates and others in the community before using the photos to extort them has been delayed again. The hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday morning in Lewis County Superior Court. According to The Chronicle, Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said the prosecution and defense are waiting for more information. The hearing has been rescheduled to Feb. 14 at 2:30 PM.
Coroner Rules Quarterback Death as Suicide
The Whitman County coroner has concluded Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Coroner Peter Martin says Thursday in a press release that the manner of death was suicide. The 21-year-old Hilinski was discovered in his apartment after he didn’t show up for practice Tuesday. According to Pullman Police, a rifle “was recovered next to Hilinski and a suicide note was found.” Hilinski, a backup the past two seasons, was the presumed starter for the Cougars heading into his junior season.
Close Call at Westport
A close call on the Washington coast as a storm watcher in Westport nearly got swept away. KOMO TV reports 30-foot waves came ashore with the afternoon high tide Thursday, catching visitors off guard. One resident said the high waves took their toll on protective rock walls and flooded streets. Scores of people were drawn to the Westport observation tower to get a look at the storm. Home video showed a wave washed over and swept over a visitor. Fortunately he was OK. He held onto the railing and made it out safely, soaking wet, but alive.
Mental Health Bonds Legislation
Legislation sponsored by Senator John Braun of Centralia and Senator David Frockt of Seattle asks voters to approve $500 million is state bonds to expand community mental health treatment facilities statewide. It comes as reports and analysis show Washington has inadequate options for people facing a variety of mental health crises. Senator Braun says, “It’s critical that we provide the facilities to deliver a variety of evidence-based services throughout our state. Combining one of the lowest national rates of available treatment facilities with some of the highest need is a recipe for the crisis we see today.”
Congresswoman to Hold telephone Town Hall
U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler will be hosting a live telephone town hall this Monday, Jan. 22 at 6:30 PM. All residents of southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District are invited to take part in the conversation. You can sign up to receive a call to join the telephone town hall by calling Jaime’s Vancouver officer at 695-6292. You can also join in the town hall at any point by calling 1-877-229-8493 and using the passcode 116365. The telephone town hall is scheduled to last an hour.