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Seattle mayoral primary will be test of progressive movement

SEATTLE (AP) — A year after racial justice and anti-police demonstrators took over part of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, there are lines outside restaurants and bars in and around the former protest zone. Pickup soccer games and dog owners playing fetch dominate a park formerly occupied by a tent encampment. But the same issues of policing, equity, disorder and homelessness are animating Seattle’s Tuesday mayoral primary, a contest that highlights a political divide between activist-left voters and more moderate progressives. Fifteen candidates are seeking to advance to the November election. Seattle’s elections are nonpartisan. The top two-vote getters will face off in the general election.


Evacuations lifted as progress made against fires in US West

BLY, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters in Oregon reported good progress in the battle against the nation’s largest wildfire, while authorities canceled evacuation orders near a major blaze in Northern California and another in Hawaii. Containment of the Bootleg Fire in remote southern Oregon is up to 84% late Sunday. It was 56% contained a day earlier. The blaze has scorched 646 square miles. California’s Dixie Fire covered nearly 388 square miles in mountains where 45 homes and other buildings have been destroyed. On Hawaii’s Big Island, a fire nearly 63 square miles in size forced mandatory evacuations Sunday afternoon. Those orders were lifted later in the day.


Oregon approves killing up to 4 wolves in eastern Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved killing up to four uncollared wolves in eastern Oregon’s Baker County, where officials say the Lookout Mountain wolf pack attacked four cows in 14 days. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports the state has confirmed that wolves killed or hurt the cows from July 14 to July 26, and it approved a kill permit for the affected livestock producer. State rules allow for the lethal removal of wolves when repeated attacks present a significant risk to livestock and when nonlethal methods such as electric fencing or hazing haven’t stopped the attacks.


Drive to charge packagers for recycling, but industry fights

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — States across the U.S. are looking to adopt new recycling regimes that require producers of packaging to pay for its inevitable disposal. Maine became the first state to adopt such a program in July when its governor signed a bill that requires producers of products that involve packaging materials to pay into a new state fund. The fund will be used to reimburse municipalities for recycling and waste management costs. Oregon has approved a similar bill that is awaiting signature from Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, and at least six other state legislatures have similar active bills.


Flood watches in US West as mudslides close major interstate

DENVER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado officials say mudslides caused “extreme damage” to a major interstate, leaving it clogged with boulders and rocks and no word on when it might reopen. Forecasters Sunday warned of the potential for more flash floods across the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin regions. Wildfires across the West have left many hillsides more susceptible to erosion. Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado, was hit by flash flooding that left lanes in both directions snarled by logs, boulders and other debris from a burn scar left by a 2020 wildfire. Flood watches were in effect for portions of Colorado, Utah Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. 


Endangered orcas get new protection from US government

SEATTLE (AP) — Endangered killer whales have received new habitat protections from the U.S. government. The National Marine Fisheries Service on Friday finalized rules to expand the Southern Resident orca’s critical habitat from the Canadian border down to Point Sur, California, adding 15,910 square miles (41,207 square kilometers) of foraging areas, river mouths and migratory pathways. While environmentalists praised the action, many also called for habitat protections for salmon to aid in the orca’s recovery. There are currently 75 southern resident orca whales in the three resident J, K and L pods. The whales have in recent years been at their lowest numbers since the 1970s,


Diver’s body found near site where woman went missing

SEATTLE (AP) — The body of an underwater diver was found in a Seattle park on Sunday, near the location where a diver taking a class went missing the previous day, authorities said Sunday.The Seattle Fire Department said private divers recovered the body of the dead diver about 35 feet below the surface at Seacrest Cove in West Seattle.The medical examiner will determine if the body that was found is the same diver rescuers had been searching for Saturday night.  A 33-year-old woman was reported missing after she did not surface at the end of a dive class


Masks required in Oregon schools and state agency buildings

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It has been a month since Oregon lifted statewide coronavirus-related restrictions, but this week the Gov. Kate Brown has announced the reimplementation of mask requirements in schools and state agency buildings. The return of some mask mandates in Oregon follows a surge in COVID-19 cases — due to the highly transmissible delta variant — and updated masking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest mandate occurred Friday, when Brown announced new mask guidance for Executive Branch state agencies. The new guidance requires all state employees, visitors or customers — regardless of vaccination status — in any indoor state agency space to wear face coverings.