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Screenshot from FDA website

Hospital officials in Washington say Covid patients and their families are asking doctors to prescribe the deworming drug ivermectin as part of their treatment regimens. The drug isn’t recommended by federal or state health authorities for Covid, but patients are asking that it be administered anyway.

Vaccine Deadline Nears For WA State Employees

Sep 13, 2021
Courtesy of Cascade Medical Center

Most Washington state employees face a deadline next month to receive the Covid vaccination they’ll need to keep their jobs. But Monday was an important day for some to stay on track in their quest to reach that goal.

More than 90 state troopers, correctional officers, ferry workers, city firefighters and other public sector employees in Washington have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn Gov. Jay Inslee’s requirement that they get vaccinated against COVID-19, or lose their jobs.

TVW screenshot

A new Washington mask mandate goes into effect today. It applies to crowds of more than 500 people in outdoor settings, even for people who have been vaccinated.

“For anyone wondering why we are doing this, I guess it should be pretty obvious. It’s because we’re seeing evidence of transmission, unfortunately, in outdoor settings. The Watershed Festival at the Gorge led to more than 200 infections from that one event and it was outdoors," said Governor Jay Inslee last week.

Courtesy of Polly Bemis Ranch

This summer, Idahoans celebrated the life of one of the state’s most famous Chinese-American citizens. Polly Bemis now has her own statue in Boise.

For those not familiar with her story, Bemis came to the U.S. in the early 1870s. It was a time when many Chinese men were coming to the States to find work, in the mines or wherever else they could.

Courtesy of Idaho legislature

Former Idaho State Legislator Aaron von Ehlinger, is facing a warrant for his arrest on rape charges.

A warrant for von Ehlinger’s arrest was issued Thursday for Sexual Penetration-Forcible by Use with a Foreign Object, a felony. He is a Republican from Lewiston.

He is accused of raping an Idaho legislative intern last spring and resigned amidst an Idaho State Legislature investigation into his conduct.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho’s governor is no fan of President Biden’s order that many federal employees and contractors be vaccinated for the coronavirus. 

Brad Little is looking into suing the government.

Panhandle Health District Names New Director

Sep 10, 2021
Courtesy of Panhandle Health District

Idaho’s Panhandle Health District has looked to its own ranks for a new leader.

Don Duffy was introduced Friday as the agency’s new director.

Rebecca White

Healthcare providers say if COVID numbers don’t improve, Eastern Washington could soon follow North Idaho into crisis standard of care.

Bidders are lining up for a $14 million equipment auction in the latest turn of the Easterday ghost cattle scam.

There’s a fleet of Dodge Ram trucks, tractors, dozers, feed mixing wagons, 4-wheelers and even a horse trailer with living quarters for riders. In all, more than 100 truckloads of farm-related equipment are on the auction block in one of the largest sales of farming gear ever undertaken in the country, much less the Northwest.

Just in time for the kickoff of the NFL regular season, the first legal sports betting operation in Washington state has opened for business. On Thursday, a line of bettors queued behind a sports celebrity to place their first bets at a tribal casino in the eastern suburbs of Seattle.

Courtesy Of Danica Garcia

 

Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday announced that people attending outdoor events with 500 or more attendees will have to wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not. The new, expanded mask mandate goes into effect on Monday.

Inslee’s order comes on the heels of similar requirements that took effect this week in King and Pierce Counties.

Northwest deer dying of drought-related viral disease

Sep 8, 2021

More white-tailed deer are dying in the Northwest of viruses that often cause more die-offs after hot summers and droughts.

While numbers could continue to climb, lab testing has found more white-tailed deer than normal have been infected with either bluetongue or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, known as EHD.

Tens of thousands of public school students in Washington state returned to classes this month in school buildings judged to be at risk of collapse in a strong earthquake. A new report to the state Legislature prepared by state geologists and a structural engineering firm gave the lowest possible seismic safety rating to more than 90 percent of the school buildings assessed in a selective statewide survey.

Rebecca White

Inland Northwest healthcare providers are expecting a new surge of cases in the weeks following holiday gatherings on Labor Day weekend.

Spokane Regional Health District Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez said regional hospital capacity is already stretched at about 90%, and the community is contending with the more infectious Delta Variant.

Courtesy of Cancer.gov

Monoclonal antibodies have become a more common remedy for those who have tested positive for Covid and who could become vulnerable to some of its more severe symptoms. But where you can receive that treatment has been limited to hospitals and doctors' offices.

Courtesy of Providence Health Care

Many eastern Washington hospitals are being strained by having to care for Covid patients. 

It's not quite as dire as the situation facing north Idaho hospitals, which are rationing resources.

Courtesy of Kootenai Health

North Idaho is now in a "crisis standard of care"  and state health officials warn that the rest of the state soon could be as well, if more people don’t get vaccinated.

Courtesy of Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Last weekend the Spokane Indians baseball team had its final two home games for the 2021 season cancelled because of Covid concerns with players on the visiting team, the Tri-City Dust Devils.

That was the latest body blow for a team that had a cancelled season in 2020 and, this year, has had to adjust to serving fans in a pandemic-infused world.

But the Indians see some financial support on the horizon if they can only get the attention of Congress.

Courtesy of Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

The state of Idaho is soliciting proposals for projects that would lower the phosphorus level in Coeur d’Alene Lake.

Governor Brad Little has set aside $2 million from his Building Idaho’s Future fund.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane Public Schools on Thursday opened the new academic year by welcoming students to two new middle schools, Glover and Shaw. It also opened a new facility for students who don’t feel like they fit in the other high schools.  


The On Track Academy sits within shouting distance of the new Shaw Middle School. It’s officially named the Lisa Mattson On Track Academy after its principal.

The largest state employee union in Washington has reached a tentative agreement over the implementation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The deal, which was announced early Saturday morning, follows a series of bargaining sessions this week between representatives of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) and the Inslee administration.

Ferruginous hawks in Washington deemed endangered

Sep 3, 2021

Washington’s ferruginous hawk population is continuing to slip. The state Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously voted at a meeting in August to change the hawk’s status from threatened to endangered, in an effort to stop the decline.

On a recent Sunday evening, Emily Wion’s three-year-old Bernese mountain dog, Ranger, was in distress. He was lethargic and his belly was distended and hard. Wion immediately suspected a stomach “flip,” a serious and potentially fatal condition that requires immediate surgery.

Wion, who lives on Mercer Island, called the nearest 24/7 veterinary emergency hospital and was told they were at capacity and to try elsewhere. It was the same answer everywhere else she called. Finally, a clinic in Renton agreed to see the dog.

Courtesy of the National Weather Service.

This summer’s average was the hottest on record for most of the Inland Northwest, with most communities seeing temperatures a few degrees higher than average.

The climate normal for a summer in the Spokane area is 67.8 degrees. The average temperature in Spokane this summer, a combination of both overnight lows and daytime highs, was 73.1, several degrees above the 30-year-average and beating the county’s 2015 record.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the firestorm that burned most of the Whitman County town of Malden and hundreds of thousands of acres in eastern and central Washington.

Wikimedia Commons

Activists and voting rights advocates put local governments on notice this week when they settled a lawsuit with Yakima County to rewrite its election process.

Courtesy of Inciweb

As fire and land managers hold their breath, they’re pleading with Northwesterners to play it safe this Labor Day weekend. The goal is to avoid any spark that could create any wildfires reminiscent of the wind-driven firestorm last year.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Spokane School District welcomed students back for the ’21-’22 academic year on Thursday.

Students at Glover and Shaw Middle Schools and On Track Academy are all learning in new buildings.

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control

The Covid surge has started a trend that Dr. Tanya Sorensen finds alarming.

“For the first time during the pandemic, we are seeing huge numbers of sick pregnant women, really sick women," she said.

Sorensen is a maternal fetal health physician at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

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