Unemployment Holds Steady

Washington’s November unemployment rate is 6%, unchanged from October. According to Employment Security there was a net gain of 100 jobs last month with 2,600 private sector jobs added but 2,500 government jobs list. The private sector job growth was contained to professional and business services, other services and financial activities. Over 400,000 people statewide collected unemployment which was down by more than 50,000 from October.

More COVID-19 Deaths In Grant County

8 more Grant County residents have died from COVID-19 related complications according to the Grant County Health District bringing the total number of deaths to 73. 5 of those are tied to long term care facilities and all but 1 person had underlying heath conditions. Over 50 more COVID-19 cases were recorded on Wednesday with the total approaching 6,100. New cawses are residents of Coulee City, Ephrata, Mattawa, Moses Lake, Quincy, Royal City and Warden. 21 people are hospitalized.

Driver Arrested In Police Pursuit

The driver of a stolen vehicle who led officers on a chase near Brewster is now facing charges. Police say they spotted the stolen car on State Route 173 and the pursuit moved to State Route 17 where the driver identified as Adam White then went off the highway and tried to drive down a dirt road but got stuck in snow and sand. White was booked into jail for felony eluding, theft of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.

Samaritan Administrators First To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Two administrators at Samaritan Healthcare will be the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A Samaritan spokesperson says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrea Carter and Dr. Jazab Sheikh, Samaritan’s Medical Director of Clinics will be vaccinated at the Pioneer Way clinic. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out nationwide with first priority being health care workers, paramedics and skilled nursing facility workers.

Lind Wind Farm Up And Running

A newly constructed Adams County windmill farm began commercial operations on Tuesday. According to the Spokesman-Review the 160-megawatt Rattlesnake Flat farm in Lind has 57 wind turbines that generate enough power to electrify nearly 40,000 homes. The project created 250 jobs, including 10 employees who will maintain and operate the wind farm full-time. The farm’s owner Clearway Energy has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Avista Utilities.

New COVID-19 Class Guidelines

Governor Jay Inslee releases revised guidance on returning students to in-person learning. All students can return to in-person learning when COVID-19 cases represent less than 50 per 100,000 residents. When cases are greater than 50 per 100,000 residents, but less than 350, districts can phase in students starting with elementary and middle school students. Districts in areas with more than 350 are encouraged to allow in-person learning for elementary students and students with the highest needs.

COVID-19 Update

The Grant County Health District added more than 100 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday pushing the total over 6,000. The new cases are residents of Coulee City, Ephrata, Mattawa, Moses Lake, Quincy, Royal City, Soap Lake and Warden. 21 people are currently hospitalized and so far there’s been no change in the number of people who’ve died from COVID-19 related complications but there are 14 death certificates pending review.

Quincy PSE Donating Christmas Meals

8 area families will have plenty to eat for Christmas thanks to the generosity of the Quincy chapter of the Public School Employees Union of Washington. Next Monday employees will distribute the meals which come with a turkey, ham, or chicken in addition to all the fixings. The meals were purchased by the PSE thanks to local donations from last year’s Stuff The Bus event and donations from its members.

Travel Down For The Holidays

Thanks to COVID-19 not as many of us will be going over the river and through the woods for a Christmas celebration. AAA Washington is reporting 22% fewer residents will make the trip for the holidays. Throughout the U.S. 3 in 4 people are expected to stay home for the holidays. Public health officials are advising against traveling during the 12-day end-of-year period which runs from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, 2021.

Elections Official Threatened

A Washington State elections official was the target of a threat made by a group going after people unhappy that President Donald Trump was not re-elected. According to the Seattle Times the threat against Elections Director Lori Augino was made over the weekend on a website describing so-called “enemies of the people”. On Monday the electoral college formally elected Joe Biden as President but Trump hasn’t yet conceded.