News Stories Tue., Apr. 3, 2018

A U-S appeals court on Monday upheld a decision to allow Northwest dams to release more water over their spillways to help young salmon heading toward the ocean. Dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers will begin spilling more water in the next week. Federal agencies appealed a decision last year to enable more spill, saying there wasn’t enough time to come up with a plan. This year, the agencies argued that salmon weren’t in need of this extra protection. However, the three-judge appeals court agreed with U-S District Court Judge Michael Simon that salmon are in a “precarious” state.This is the fourth time since 2005 that increased spill has been mandated by a federal court. The decision marks a win for plaintiffs in the case, which included conservation and fishing groups, the Nez Perce Tribe and the state of Oregon.

St. Charles Health System is going live with a new electronic health record system April 7 and bringing a new online portal to its patients. St. Charles said in its news release that the transition will bring the health system’s four hospitals and family care, immediate care and specialty care clinics under the same umbrella for patient records, care delivery processes, registration and billing. The new patient portal, MyChart, will enable St. Charles patients to access their health records online or through a mobile app, view test results, book appointments with family care clinics and pay bills online.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Cherry and apple growers in Washington state are worried their exports to China will be hurt by a trade war that escalated on Monday when that country raised import duties on a $3 billion list of products. China buys Washington-grown cherries, apples and pears, which are all included in the trade dispute. Kate Woods, a vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima, Washington, says they hope the issue is resolved before cherry harvest begins in June. The council handles international trade issues for the agriculture industries in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. China is the top export market for Washington cherries.