Deal in works over GMO wheat
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A potential settlement appears to be in the works on some claims in lawsuits over the May 2013 discovery of genetically engineered Monsanto wheat in an Oregon field.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas has given the parties until Sept. 29 to file stipulations of dismissal of claims brought by growers of soft white wheat.
She has also stayed proceedings to give the remaining parties a chance to explore a possible settlement.
An order filed Wednesday in federal court in Kansas gives the parties until Oct. 27 to file a joint report on efforts to resolve the case.
At least 13 lawsuits against St. Louis-based Monsanto over have been consolidated in Kansas. The lawsuits were initially filed in Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Oregon, Texas, Mississippi, Washington, Arkansas and Idaho.
Governors unite for drought study
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says that as chairman of the Western Governors’ Association he wants to bring states together to talk about how best to manage and prepare for drought.
Aides say the Republican governor announced Thursday at the Lahontan Reservoir near Fallon that the association’s Drought Forum will hold its first meeting next week in Norman, Oklahoma.
Meetings are set in October in Tempe, Arizona; in November in Sacramento, California; and in December in Las Vegas.
Sandoval says the association also now has an online resource library at westgov.org to collect drought management case studies.
With the Southwest in the grip of the driest 15-year period in more than a century, Sandoval says association governors need to find the best ways to deal with drought in their 19 states.
Bus rider asked about jihad
TIGARD (AP) — A Sherwood man who wears a head scarf says a TriMet driver asked him, “How’s the jihad going for you?”
The man, Yassin Ibn Mika’il, has filed a complaint with the transit agency accusing the driver of discriminating against him because he is a Muslim.
TriMet told KPTV it takes the matter very seriously and is conducting an internal investigation.
Ibn Mika’il says he’s been riding TriMet for 25 years and the Aug. 29 incident in Tigard is the first problem he’s encountered.
Wildfire to the west, freezing east
PORTLAND (AP) — Forecasters say a combination of gusty winds and low humidity are creating a high wildfire danger through Friday evening west of the Cascades in much of western Washington and Oregon.
The National Weather Service has a red flag warning in effect in the area from Seattle through Eugene because of the danger that any fire would rapidly spread in winds of 25 mph or stronger when the humidity is as low as 20 percent.
Winds Thursday in the Columbia River Gorge fanned fires near White Salmon and Multnomah Falls.
It’s a different story east of the Cascades where forecasters say temperatures will drop below freezing Friday night in some places.
The Weather Service expects a warming trend over the weekend that will last into next week in the Northwest.
Vancouver heads off oil terminal
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — T he Vancouver, Washington, City Council has approved an emergency six-month moratorium on new or expanded facilities that would accept crude oil.
The Columbian reports that the moratorium approved Thursday night won’t affect the oil transfear terminal proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies that’s currently under review by the state.
The moratorium was straightforward but a last-minute filing has complicated the issue.
The newspaper reports that Thursday’s special council meeting, announced Wednesday, was meant to head off plans by NuStar Energy L.P. of San Antonio to apply to start storing crude oil at its two bulk tank terminals in Vancouver.
However, Assistant City Attorney Brent Boger says NuStar filed a preliminary application with the city on Wednesday afternoon.
Boger says he doesn’t know whether a pre-application qualifies the project as vested, and therefore exempt from the moratorium.
He says that without a moratorium, NuStar would be allowed to store crude oil under current city zoning.
WA sheriff pushes for body cameras
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich (kuh-NEZ’-oh-vich) is stepping up his campaign to outfit 150 patrol deputies with body cameras.
The sheriff says recording use of force situations would keep the county out of costly lawsuits.
KXLY reports the sheriff favors a video camera that would be mounted on glasses or ball caps so it would record what the deputy sees.
The city of Spokane is currently testing body cameras on 17 officers and deciding whether to put them on all Spokane officers next year.