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CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

As wildfires continue to burn across the state, 911 services in Omak, Okanogan, Oroville and Mallot are being stressed to the point that some callers are receiving busy signals when they call.

CenturyLink is asking customers to be patient and limit their calls to true emergency situations. Calls are going through, but it may take several attempts – and the few people calling, the greater the chance.

Meanwhile, CenturyLink says all 911 services along with local and long distance phone lines and internet services remain down in Mazama, Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop due to extensive fire damage in the area.

With destroyed fiber cables and equipment CenturyLink says they are unable to provide an estimated time for restoration and say customers should expect them to remain down for an extended period of time.

Spokane Police searching for suspect in Sunset Grocery robbery

Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives are asking for the public's help identifying a suspect who robbed Sunset Grocery on July 10.

Just before 10:30 pm Police received a report of a robbery at Sunset Grocery in the 1900 block of W. Sunset Boulevard.

The caller reported that a man had entered the store, indicated he had a weapon and demanded cash. He fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police arrived on the scene less than a minute after the call and quickly set up a perimeter but were unable to locate the suspect.

He's described as:

  • A white male
  • 5 feet, 4 inches tall
  • Black baseball cap, white and black bandana on his face
  • Red tennis shoes with white soles

Anyone with information related to the robbery is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy saves newborn

Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy saves newborn

A Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputy is being credited with saving the life of a newborn infant Friday morning.

Deputy Randy Watts was on patrol around 1:40 am when he heard a medic call explaining a woman had given birth at her home but that the baby wasn't breathing. Deputy Watts was nearby and has basic medical training, so he sped to the home and was met by the newborn's father who led him upstairs.

Deputy Watts could see the child was purple and not breathing so he began administering rescue breaths and chest compressions until the child was attempting to breath on her own.

He then turned the child over and began striking her on the back to help clear the mucus from her nose and mouth. Once it was clear, Deputy Watts resumed rescue breaths and color began to return to the newborn's skin.

FEMA funds authorized for Carlton Complex fire

FEMA funds authorized for Carlton Complex fire

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Carlton Complex Fire, burning in Okanogan County, Washington.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Carlton Complex Fire threatened enough destruction to constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state's request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant on Thursday.

When the request was submitted on Wednesday, no homes had burned. Today, dozens of homes and businesses have burned to ash as the fire moved through the small town of Pateros. Nearby Brewster is also under a level three evacuation order, meaning residents must leave the area immediately.

A Red Cross shelter has been set up in the town of Chelan for anyone who needs assistance, including cots, meals and water.

Barn fire does $60k in property damage

Another wildfire was likely avoided Thursday morning after a barn burst into flames early Thursday morning south of Freeman High School on the 14300 block of East Drumheller Road.

The owner of the home woke up to a loud explosion just before 4 a.m. Inside his barn were several pieces of equipment a tractor, several propane tanks and that is what caused such a massive fire ball that even firefighters could see from miles away.

?As our engine pulled out of Valleyford Fire Station they could see the engine and the smoke and we had a report that it was getting into the grass and timber as well,? Fire District 8 Chief Glen Godfrey said.

Godfrey added had conditions been different Thursday morning much more than the barn would have been in trouble.

?It was still pretty humid this morning, the temperature was down, I can already feel the temperature rising and I can already feel it drying out this morning and we are picking up a breeze now," he said.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Vantage Bridge on I-90 closed

TRAFFIC ALERT: Vantage Bridge on I-90 closed

A multi-vehicle accident involving an estimated 15 semitrucks and 6 cars has prompted Washington State Department of Transportation to close part of Interstate 90 in central Washington.

I-90 westbound is closed at milepost 136 near the Vantage Bridge over the Columbia river, and eastbound at milepost 115 near Kittitas.

Drivers are being detoured onto local roads. There is no estimate for a reopening time. 

The collision occured just after 11 am eastbound near milepost 127.

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Thanks to a boost in June, Washington's unemployment numbers have dropped to their lowest levels in six years to 5.8 percent – that's according to the state's Employment Security Department.

Industry sectors saw the largest growth with 2,600 jobs. Retail grew by 2,200, leisure and hospitality by 1,900 and wholesale trade by 1,400. Professional and business services, information, manufacturing, financial services and mining also saw growth in the hundreds.

“After a hiring lull in May, Washington employers really picked up the pace in June,” said Paul Turek, an economist with the department. “The state's economy is picking up momentum and the near term job outlook is good.”

During the one-year period ending in June, Employment Security estimates that employers created 84,700 jobs.