The Pacific Northwest Digest

Get you news from around the Pacific Northwest.

OR–7 Wolf Has Pups in Cascades

GRANTS PASS, Ore.—Oregon’s wandering wolf, OR–7, has fathered at least two pups with a mate in the southern Cascade Range—the first confirmed wolf pack in those mountains since the 1940s. The discovery marked the farthest west and south a pack has established itself since the animals’ reintroduction in the Northern Rockies in the 1990s.

Dead Birds in Portland Reservoir

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Portland Water Bureau announced that two dead birds were discovered at the bottom of the reservoir where E. coli contamination was detected last month. Workers found the carcasses while cleaning Reservoir 5 on Mount Tabor. The city has not yet planned tests to investigate a link between the birds and the E. coli contamination.

Hatchery Steelheads Struggle to Navigate

GRANTS PASS, Ore.—A new study suggests that steelhead trout can have trouble using the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate if they were raised in a hatchery, where the field can be distorted by iron pipes, according to scientists at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center in Alsea. The study was published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Planned Parenthood Closing 3 NW Clinics

PORTLAND, Ore.—Planned Parenthood is closing three clinics in the Portland area: in Clackamas, Gresham, and Clark County, Wash. Two months ago, it closed an office in McMinnville. The organization reports a 30 percent drop in patient visits. Teen birth rates both in Oregon and nationally are at their lowest point in decades.

Inslee Passes Wildfire Safety Test

OLYMPIA, Wash.—Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark are fit enough to visit fire lines when wildfires break out. They passed a safety exam called the work capacity test at Capitol Lake in Olympia on Wednesday, walking 1 mile in less than 15 minutes and quickly deploying an emergency fire shelter.

Railroads Seek to Limit Disclosure

SEATTLE—Two railroad companies want to prevent the public from knowing details about oil shipments through Washington state, a disclosure the federal government ordered be given to state emergency managers after several oil train accidents. But restricting that information violates the state’s public records law, so the state has not signed documents from the rail companies seeking confidentiality.

Lethal Prescriptions on the Rise

OLYMPIA, Wash.—Officials reported that 173 people in Washington requested and received lethal doses of medication in 2013 through the Death with Dignity law—a 43 percent increase from the year before. Of those people, 159 are known to have died. Seventy-seven percent had cancer. All but 5 percent had health insurance, and 97 percent were white.

Opinion on Concealed Pistol Licenses

OLYMPIA, Wash.—People convicted in a foreign country of crimes comparable to felonies under Washington state law are ineligible for a concealed pistol license, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a legal opinion. Ferguson said that whether a foreign conviction is comparable to a Washington state felony is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Bergdahl’s Welcome Celebration Canceled

HAILEY, Idaho—Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s hometown abruptly canceled plans Wednesday for a welcome-home celebration, citing security concerns over the prospect of big crowds—both for and against the soldier. The town of 8,000 has been swamped with hate mail and angry calls, debating whether Bergdahl, 28, should be given a hero’s welcome or treated as a deserter.

Chobani Laying Off Idaho Workers

TWIN FALLS, Idaho—Greek yogurt maker Chobani is laying off workers at its south-central Idaho plant. The layoffs include temporary workers as well as some regular workers. It’s still unknown how many workers are being let go, but about three-quarters are temporary workers. The plant has reportedly hit its production target and is also making shift changes.

Judge Rejects Suit, Questions NSA

SPOKANE, Wash.—A federal judge raised privacy questions while dismissing a lawsuit filed by Anna J. Smith of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, against President Barack Obama regarding the collection of cellphone information by the National Security Agency. U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled that the NSA’s collection of such data does not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches.

Fake Promoter Gets Prison For Scam

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho—Ryan D. Thueson, 34, who deceived an events planning company into giving him money by promising to deliver big-name country music stars Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Lady Antebellum to southeastern Idaho, has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $228,500 in restitution following his guilty plea to grand theft.

From The Associated Press