KELA/KMNT News Headlines for Sunday, Mar. 9, 2014 (Updated 12:30pm)
US-12 White Pass Closed Due to Rockslide
White Pass US 12 was closed at milepost 139, which is the intersection of US 12 and SR 123 and milepost 183, near the Oak Creek Feed Station. Due to a mud and rock slide at milepost 142. US 12 was closed from about 9pm Saturday night untill Noon Sunday after crews spent the morning clearing the roadway. There was an additional closure barricade at milepost 151, near the summit to allow recreational vehicle access to the summit.
Woman Arrested After Threatening School Staff
Lewis County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 48-year old Cheryl Strong of Packwood after she called White Pass Elementary School and left threats in a voicemail to harm school staff that resulted in a lockdown of the school. According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded Thursday morning after they were advised about the message. Strong was apparently upset that her child was dropped off by the school bus at the wrong residence after they had moved to another address. When school staff heard the message Thursday morning they became concerned for their safety and the safety of the children. Strong was located by deputies while driving to the school just before 11 AM. She was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for Felony Harassment.
State Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall
Washington state’s unemployment rate continues to drop. The state Employment Security Department reports the seasonally-adjusted January jobless rate was 6.4 percent. That’s down from December’s revised rate of 6.7 percent. It’s also the lowest state unemployment rate since the fall of 2008. Also in January the state gained an estimated 3,800 jobs. Employment Security economists say Washington now has more jobs than before the start of the Great Recession. The January jobless numbers for individual counties are expected to be released next week.
We "Spring Ahead" Sunday Morning
We “spring ahead” one hour at 2 AM this Sunday morning as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Local fire department officials say when you change your clocks it’s also a good time to change the batteries in the smoke detectors in your home. Captain Casey Beck with the Chehalis Fire Department says if your smoke detector is more than five years old you should consider replacing it with a new one. He says smoke detectors now on the market have newer technology. Beck says combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are available that could help protect you from two silent killers.