New Law Takes Major Step in Transforming Behavioral Health Care

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OLYMPIA, WA - A bill that overhauls the oversight of behavioral health programs and integrates those programs with other health care services in Washington State was signed into law this week by Governor Jay Inslee.  It is part of a larger plan to transform the way Washington treats patients with behavioral health disorders, officials say.

Washington Department of Commerce Awards $57.6 Million for Affordable Housing Projects

Funds create 1,906 units of affordable housing for low-income and special-needs residents, including 291 units for people with chronic mental illness, 121 homes for first-time homebuyers

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OLYMPIA, WA - The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $57.6 million in loans and grants from the state’s Housing Trust Fund for 42 affordable housing projects in communities throughout Washington.  In this region, the Community Action Center of Whitman County received $800,000 for the River View Apartments in Pullman.  The grant will provide the new construction of 55 low-income units.

The Arc of Spokane received $500,000 for a total of 20 units of downpayments for homeownership in Whitman, Adams, Franklin, Spokane, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Lincoln Counties.

Body Found Near Winchester Lake State Park is Identified

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WINCHESTER, ID - The Lewis County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of the deceased male found in a wooded area below the spillway of Winchester Lake State Park.  The individual is 46-year-old Nathan D. Hale. He was reported missing in mid-October by the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.  The cause of death is still under investigation.

Idaho’s Larger Counties Continue to Add Population in 2017

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BOISE, ID - The steady shift of Idaho’s population from rural to urban counties continued between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.  That is according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Six urban counties – Ada, Canyon, Kootenai, Bonneville, Bannock and Twin Falls – had a combined population of 1,116,173, accounting for 75% of the growth in the state’s population and 65% of overall population. The state’s total population was estimated at 1,716,943.

Nez Perce County had a 0.7% increase to 40,385.

Weather Brought to You by Nez Perce Express

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Weather for the Lewis-Clark Valley, Palouse, and Camas Prairie brought to you by Nez Perce Express.

Today Rain likely before 2pm, then rain likely and possibly a thunderstorm between 2pm and 5pm, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 5pm. Cloudy, with a high near 59. East wind 8 to 13 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight Showers likely before 8pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 36. West wind 6 to 11 mph becoming south after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Legislation to Strengthen Enforcement Procedures Against Facilitators of Sex Trafficking Passes U.S. Senate

Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act now on way to President's desk

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - There were 13 cases of human sex trafficking in Idaho last year, while there were 163 in Washington StateNationally, there were 8,524 cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

A bill that would allow the federal government to prosecute websites which knowingly promote or assist in sex trafficking has passed the Senate on a 97-2 vote.  House Resolution 1865, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, also allows users to sue those websites.

The bill passed the House of Representatives with a 388-25 vote on February 27th and will now go to the White House for the President’s signature.

WDFW Recommends Hunter Education Courses for Spring Turkey Season

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OLYMPIA, WA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to recommend that prospective hunters sign up for hunter education courses to avoid missing out on any hunting opportunities for the spring turkey season.

From the WDFW:
“While other major hunting seasons don’t open until September, now is the time to enroll in hunter education to ensure you can participate in the exciting spring turkey seasons,” said David Whipple, hunter education division manager for WDFW. Spring turkey hunters enjoy a high success rate, with 52 percent of hunters harvesting a turkey statewide in 2016. In northeast Washington, that figure rose to 62 percent.
The turkey season is an excellent opportunity to introduce someone new to the hunting tradition, especially with a youth-only turkey hunt scheduled for April 7-8, Whipple said.

U of I Extension Will Offer Ecologically-Based Forest Management Alternatives Workshop

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OROFINO, ID - The University of Idaho Extension will be offering Ecologically-Based Forest Management Alternatives for North Central Idaho.This is a two-night workshop that is designed to review current research on interior-west forest disturbance patters and vegetation.


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