KWSO News 7/24/19

Warm Springs Telecom will be upgrading equipment and Simnasho and other north-end customers will be affected today.  There is a Maintenance Window of 10am to 4pm.  Outages will be intermittent between those times.  Every Wednesday until the end of August they will be performing tower upgrades and Maintenance Windows.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon will close a loophole in state law that allowed domestic abusers to illegally hold on to their firearms. Gov. Kate Brown signed a measure Tuesday that threatens further penalties to domestic abusers who refuse to turn over their firearms following a court order. It strengthens a 2015 law meant to keep guns from those with convictions for domestic violence or stalking. Legislators had heard complaints that abusers were still holding onto their weapons by skipping court hearings.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Police Department has developed an online system to provide updates to people who have been tested for evidence of sexual assault. The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported Tuesday that the online system has been used in Portland since May and the state police plan to adopt it statewide by the end of July 2020. Police say people can track sexual assault kits anonymously to determine if evidence obtained during a hospital visit was submitted to a crime lab for testing. Authorities say the online system will not reveal the crime lab results, but only whether the results were given to police. The newspaper says the online system is a result of new state legislation that holds authorities accountable in response to cases of police holding untested kits.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies will be examining the status of school construction in Indian Country at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon. The situation isn’t looking good for the federal government, Native News Online reports. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, there’s a $639 million backlog in deferred maintenance for education facilities and a $86 million backlog in deferred maintenance for education quarters within the Bureau of Indian Education system. According to some government estimates, it will cost more than $4.6 billion to replace the schools and structures in the worst condition.

The next Pacific Northwest battle over bottled water is in the Cowlitz River watershed at the base of Mount St. Helens, Willamette Week reported Tuesday. The Lewis County Water Alliance, Cowlitz Tribal Council, Columbia Riverkeeper and Eastside Olympia Food Coop on Monday announced opposition to Crystal Geyser’s proposal to build a bottled water facility on the Cowlitz River near Randle, Wash. The Cowlitz Tribe on July 17 unanimously voted to oppose the water bottling facility. The tribe, along with a community coalition called the Lewis County Water Alliance and the non-profit Columbia Riverkeeper, also claim a bottled water facility will harm salmon populations.

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $16 million in funding for 14 tribal energy infrastructure projects through DOE’s Office of Indian Energy. This investment will help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast energy resources in order to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase their energy security and resilience. In addition to the $16 million in funding provided by DOE, approximately $23 million will be cost-shared by tribal communities. These projects, valued in total at up to $39 million, are the result of a competitive funding opportunity announcement (FOA) announced March 11, 2019. Projects belong to tribes in Arizona, Montana, Wisconsin, California, South Dakota, Alaska and New York.