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Washington State News Archive

Below are archived news items for the current month. To view a previous month, choose it from the list below.

"New year means mandated vaccinations for several types of household pets"--
As of New Year’s Day, all cats, dogs, and ferrets in the state must be vaccinated for rabies. The state Board of Health adopted the new rule in accordance with national rabies control guidelines, but there is no state-level enforcement. The hope is to get people’s attention and to have more people vaccinate their pets. Many cities and counties in the state, including Cowlitz County and its cities, already require rabies shots for dogs as parts of their licensing programs. - 01/02/2012

"Mining deaths second-lowest in a century"--Spokane Spokesman-Review
Data released by the Dept. of Labor’s Mining Safety and Health Administration reveals that there were 37 mining fatalities in 2011, the second-lowest number since statistics were first recorded in 1910. Of the 37 deaths, 21 were related to coal mining and 16 were related to metal/nonmetal mining, compared with 48 and 23 deaths respectively in 2010. Kentucky had the most mining deaths, with 8 in 2011, while Idaho had 2 and Washington had 1. - 01/06/2012

"Gregoire calls for new oil fees in speech to Legislature"--Everett Daily Herald
In her State of the State address on Tuesday, Governor Gregoire unveiled a plan to raise $3.6 billion for the upkeep of road, bridges, and ferries, with the majority of the money coming from a new $1.50 per barrel fee for oil refined by refineries in the state. Also included in the plan are a $100 fee on each electric vehicle, a $5 fee per studded tire, and an increase in weight fees for commercial and passenger vehicles. Most car owners would see their bill rise $15 when they renew their tabs. Gov. Gregoire’s plan raises a small fraction of the $21 billion recommended by the Connecting Washington Task Force that she led last year. - 01/10/2012

"Bankruptcy filings drop in Pierce County"--Tacoma News Tribune
2001 year-end data released by the U.S. Bankruptcy County for the Western District of Washington shows that total filings fell 4.4% from the previous year. In Pierce County, filings fell 3.6%, from 5,025 in 2010 to 4,840 in 2011. The number is still higher than the 4,428 filings in 2009, though. Of the 4,840 filings in 2011, 3,616 were Chapter 7, 1,176 were Chapter 13, 47 were Chapter 11, and 1 was Chapter 12. - 01/12/2012

"County sees no progress on joblessness"--Vancouver Columbian
A report released by the WA Employment Security Department shows that Clark County had a preliminary unemployment rate of 9.2% in December, with a chance of it climbing to 11.4% after unemployed county residents who work in Oregon are added in. The statewide unemployment rate was estimated at 8.6%, without seasonal adjustment, little changed from November, but well below December 2010’s rate of 9.2%. The report also shows that Clark County added only 200 jobs, or 0.2%, during the last year. - 01/24/2012

Drop in new-home purchases caps worst year ever for sales--Everett Daily Herald
Data released by the U.S. Commerce Department shows that new home sales fell 2.2% last month, to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The number is considerably less than the 700,00 homes that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy and it made 2011 the worst year for new home sales since records started being kept in 1963. The median sales price for new homes also fell in December to $210,300. - 01/26/2012

"USDA's new planting zones reflect global warming, even in Alaska"--Tacoma News Tribune
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new planting zone guide that divides the U.S. into 26 zones based on five-degree temperature differences. The guide, which has not been updated since 1990, is based on temperatures from 1974-2005 and it uses better weather data than previous editions. One new feature is that users of the online version of the guide can enter their ZIP code and get the exact average coldest temperature. Unfortunately, the updated guide has been published too late to appear on this year’s seed packets, but it will be on next year’s. - 01/26/2012

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