News Stories Jun. 18, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A three-year project to get a better understanding of the distribution of nearly 30 bumblebee species in the Pacific Northwest and why some appear to be declining is, well, buzzing. The Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas for Idaho, Oregon and Washington that started this month aims to accumulate detailed information about bumblebees with the help of hundreds of citizen scientists spreading out across the three states.

From 2012 through 2016 there were almost 11,000 crashes in Oregon involving a distracted driver. Those crashes killed 70 people and injured 16,500. A new law that toughens up the fines for the offense will go into effect July 1. The result is a ticket no one wants to get. It is not just only a cell phone that will get you in trouble, it could be a laptop or any electronic device. The first offense has a $1,000 fine which can be waived by the judge if the person agrees to take a distracted driving course. If the first offense involves a crash, the fine becomes $2,500. If you’re caught three times over a 10-year period, the fine is $2,500 and six months in jail. Built-in or hands-free device usage is legal, but mounted smart phones can only be used for a single touch or swipe to turn on or off. Using a hand-held device is also illegal if you’re stopped in traffic. The vehicle must be safely parked before usage begins.

2018 Fire Season for Warm Springs Agency as approved by the BIA Superintendent as recommended by FMO Trey Leonard was declared Friday. Fire danger in zone 1 is listed as moderate with an IFPL 1. Zones 2 and 3 remain at low fire danger. As the fire danger changes during the season the restrictions will follow the regulations covered by the National Fire Danger Rating System, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels and Warm Springs Mobilization and Dispatch plan.

Months after the new Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center opened and amidst serious plans to expand the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a new educational facility that will house Nixyaawii Community School, a charter high school established in 2004, Cay-Um-Wa Head Start, and adult education programs, the East Oregonian reported. One of the biggest upgrades, school officials said, will be an increase in space. A surge of freshman enrollees forced the school to set a 75-student enrollment cap last school year. Nixyaawii is projecting to nearly double its cap to 140 in the new facility. Other improvements include a modern security systems and “community rooms” as well as a gym, cafeteria and commons area. The school is scheduled to open September 2019.