KELA News Headlines for Friday July 31, 2015
TransAlta plans to invest $55 million in the community
TransAlta Corporation has announced it is moving forward with plans to invest $55 million over ten years to support economic and community development, energy efficiency and education and retraining in Washington state. TransAlta spokesman Richard DeBolt says it is part of the 2011 agreement between the state and TransAlta to transition away from coal at its Centralia plant by 2025. He says TransAlta has been paying into a trust for the three funding committees since the agreement was signed in 2011and they will have an opportunity to start funding projects by the end of 2015.
Water rights restrictions issued for Chehalis River basin
As a result of dramatically reduced river and stream flows due to the current drought, the Washington Department of Ecology is issuing curtailment orders to 93 water rights holders in the Chehalis River basin. According to DOE, before diverting water from the Chehalis River, those water rights holders who are receiving the orders must now call Ecology’s hotline first to see if there is enough water in the river to do so. DOE says the majority of the curtailment orders are in Lewis and Grays Harbor counties.
Centralia College receives $1.6 million for TRIO programs
Centralia Collegewill be receiving $1.6 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education for TRIO Student Support Services at the college. The mission of TRIO is to help first-generation, low-income and disabled students at Centralia College succeed in their classes, stay enrolled and graduate with a certificate or associate degree, or transfer to a four-year college or university. The grant was awarded after a highly competitive, nationwide application process.
Rocheter man injured in tree-falling accident
A 54 year old Rochester man had to be airlifted to the hospital Thursdayy after a large tree limb hit him in the head. Riverside Fire Authority says the man was felling timber when the large limb fell and hit the back of his head. The man, who has not yet been named, was taken by helicopter to Harborview medical center in Seattle, where he was reported in serious condition Thursday night.
Anti-tax Initiative 1366 qualifies for November ballot
The Washington Secretary of State's office said Wednesday that a signature check showed that supporters of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1366, who turned in more than 339,000 signatures, had enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The measure would decrease the 6.5-cent state sales tax by a penny unless the Legislature puts a constitutional amendment before voters that would reinstate a two-thirds legislative majority to raise taxes.