News Stories for Wed., Sep. 20, 2017

The Fish and Wildlife Committee will host a meeting next week for those who are interested in participating in the 2017 Ceremonial Hunt. Information will be provided on the areas and dates of the hunt, responsibilities, harvesting, compensation, meat cutters, lead hunters and crew members and when and where tags will be issued. The meeting is Tuesday, September 26th from 5:30-8:00pm at the Greeley Heights Community Building. Questions can be directed to Alfredine Smith at the Tribal Council office.

Oregon drivers soon can be pulled over for not only texting and talking on their cellphones, but also for navigating, using social media and any other “hands-on” cellphone and electronics use. The changes, which begin Oct. 1, call for repeat offenders to face steeper fines and as much as a year in jail. Officials are hoping the changes will help officers nab reckless drivers and curb dangerous distracted driving behaviors. The new law makes it illegal to drive in Oregon while holding or using any electronic device, including cellphones, tablets, GPS or laptops. Hands-free and built-in devices are allowed under the law.

A Washington state board has invalidated two key permits for a $1.8 billion methanol project proposed in Kalama, Washington.  In denying the permits, Washington’s Shorelines Hearings Board sided with Columbia Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, three environmental groups that appealed the permits in June. The board ruled that the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County failed to fully evaluate greenhouse gas emissions from what would be the world’s largest gas to methanol plant if it’s built.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown kicked off the first meeting of her Opioid Epidemic Task Force Tuesday by asking members to explore ways to break down barriers to treatment. Brown said the opioid crisis is tearing Oregon families apart. The task force includes members of the medical and judicial community.