SR 99 Will Be Closed For Four Days

crackedroadThe Washington State Department of Transportation will close both directions of SR 99 between South Spokane Street and Valley Street from 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, until 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25. Crews will reopen SR 99 south of the Battery Street Tunnel just before the Monday morning commute; however, the highway will remain closed through the tunnel to Valley Street until 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27.

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Mishaps Prompt Questions About Washington Ferries

Officials are wondering whether a series of problems in recent weeks for the nation's largest ferry system is just coincidence, or a more troubling sign of how deeply Washington state has cut into the service. A major economic driver and lifeline for many communities, the Washington State Ferries hauls about 23 million passengers among the islands, peninsulas and mainland cities in western Washington. The incidents include the breakdown of a ferry in Puget Sound, smoke in the engine room of another vessel that prompted the captain to have everyone done life jackets and the overloading of a ferry with too many passengers. State officials said the incidents were unprecedented and unfortunately timed, with other ferries already out of service for maintenance. But they also noted that the ferries remain reliable. SEATTLE (AP) – August 22, 2014

$9 Million Raised For Oso Mudslide Recovery

More than $9 million has been raised to help recovery efforts in the five months since a mudslide wiped out a neighborhood in Oso and blocked the highway to Darrington. The Daily Herald reports United Way of Snohomish County and the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation together have raised more than $4.5 million. They have earmarked about $3 million to be distributed over the next two years. The American Red Cross also has raised $4.5 million and distributed or earmarked $2 million of that, with the balance being kept in reserve. The March 22 slide killed 43 people, destroyed or damaged 48 homes and blocked Highway 530. EVERETT, Wash. (AP) – August 22, 2014

Spokane Testing Lab Starting To Certify Marijuana

An environmental and industrial testing laboratory in Spokane has been certified to test recreational marijuana. KXLY reports Anatek Labs is the first in Spokane and the second in Eastern Washington to make sure marijuana meets state standards for purity and potency. The other is in Yakima. Anatek planned to begin testing marijuana on Friday to supply retail stores. SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – August 22, 2014

South Korea Astronaut Has Landed In W. Washington

South Korea's first astronaut has landed in Puyallup and is looking for a job in science or technology in Western Washington. But the 36-year-old Soyeon Yi says when many employers see "astronaut" on her resume they tell her she's overqualified. She moved to the Tacoma area two months ago to live with her husband, an optometrist. In 2008, she spent 11 days in space on a research mission aboard the International Space Station. She speaks about her experience in weekly talks at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. TACOMA, Wash. (AP) – August 22, 2014

Mud, Slides Close Roads, Trap Motorists

WA Regional News 4.500Highway crews are trying to clear mud and debris that washed onto roadways when heavy rain fell on land scarred by wildfires in north central Washington. The Washington Transportation Department says sections of Highway 20 and Highway 153 near Twisp that were hit Thursday night remain closed Friday morning.

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No Smoking On Pot Party Bus

There goes the marijuana party bus idea. Washington state regulators have told charter and tour bus operators that marijuana use by passengers is prohibited. A notice issued Thursday by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission cited the health and safety of drivers who would be exposed to smoke. It also said the buses and passengers are considered to be in view of the public, where marijuana consumption is prohibited. Some people had dreamed that recreational marijuana could be enjoyed on party buses. Flash flood watch for north central Washington OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - August 21, 2014