KWSO News for 3/4/20

A ruptured gas line in Madras yesterday halted business at the Palisades shopping center for a few hours. As reported by, an excavation crew punctured a four-inch natural gas line at the construction site of a new truck stop across the highway from Bi-Mart. Cascade natural gas repair crews were called to the scene and arrived around 12:30pm said Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 Chief Brian Huff. Repair crews had the line sealed by about 1:20pm.

The Four Columbia River Tribes met yesterday to discuss the Winter Gillnet Treaty Mainstem Fishery. Due to a higher than expected catch rate in the Bonneville Pool, the fishery in the Bonneville Pool only will be closed two days early. The harvest guideline is expected to be reached. The Commercial Gillnet Fishery in the Bonneville Pool will close at 6:00 PM tomorrow instead of the original deadline of Saturday March 7th. The Zone 6 Platform and Hook and Line Fishery regulations remain unchanged for salmon and steelhead, but legal sized sturgeon may only be retained for subsistence use after 6:00 PM tomorrow.

Central Oregon officials from health care, schools, law enforcement and government met at a newly created operations center in Bend MONDAY night. As Emily Cureton reports, their mission is to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in the region. “There were no presumed cases of COVID-19 in Deschutes, Jefferson or Crook counties, as of Tuesday morning. Bend LaPine Schools Director of Safety and Communication Julianne Repman said Central Oregon schools will begin using special cleaning protocols this week. And people need to stay skeptical of misleading and false information, especially on social media. REPMAN: We don’t have a public health crisis in this community at this moment, we have an information crisis, because the information that is out there is not consistent, it’s not clear and almost often it’s not accurate. What’s the harm in rumors? A spokesperson for St Charles Health system said they can quickly snowball, clog up the health care system, and divert resources from people who may truly need help. Emily Cureton, reporting.” Oregon has three confirmed cases of the new virus. One such case has been reported by the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, where an employee of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino has contracted the COVID-19 virus. The positive testing shows there is some transmission in Oregon communities, but the risk is still relatively low of exposure if you have not come in contact with someone who has tested positive. Stay informed by going to KWSO’s website for current and accurate information at KWSO.Org

A bill to allow sports gambling in Washington state, but only at Indian casinos, has been approved by a state Senate committee despite concerns about a controversial emergency clause attached to it. A Senate Ways & Means Committee rejected calls Monday to scrap the emergency clause, which blocks the bill from being subjected to a statewide referendum requiring 60% support to pass. The Seattle Times reports the committee sent the bill to the full Senate despite objections that it grants a tax-free monopoly to the state’s Indian tribes while hurting smaller commercial card-room casinos. The upcoming vote by the Senate is the last major barrier before sending the legislation to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

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