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Stolen gun recovered, returned after 32 years

Stolen gun recovered, returned after 32 years

A gun stolen 32 years ago on the other side of the state has finally been returned to it's owner after popping up on Craigslist.

On July 15, a Stevens County Reserve Deputy found the gun posted for sale in Medical Lake and was interested in buying it. However after he ran the serial number, he found the Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver had been stolen in Tacoma back in 1982.

Detective Dave Knechtel contacted the Tacoma Police Department and confirmed the revolver had been stolen during a burglary in 1982. He also contacted the Craigslist seller who says he purchased the revolver near Tacoma about six months ago and had no idea it was stolen.

Detective Knechtel was able to track down the original owner of the revolver who was extremely surprised it had been found and happy it was not used in a crime. The weapon has since been returned to him.

CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

CenturyLink 911 services impacted near wildfires

As wildfires continue to burn across the state, 911 services in Omak, Okanogan, Oroville and Mallot are being stressed to the point that some callers are receiving busy signals when they call.

CenturyLink is asking customers to be patient and limit their calls to true emergency situations. Calls are going through, but it may take several attempts – and the few people calling, the greater the chance.

Meanwhile, CenturyLink says all 911 services along with local and long distance phone lines and internet services remain down in Mazama, Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop due to extensive fire damage in the area.

With destroyed fiber cables and equipment CenturyLink says they are unable to provide an estimated time for restoration and say customers should expect them to remain down for an extended period of time.

FEMA funds authorized for Carlton Complex fire

FEMA funds authorized for Carlton Complex fire

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Carlton Complex Fire, burning in Okanogan County, Washington.

FEMA Region X Regional Administrator, Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the Carlton Complex Fire threatened enough destruction to constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state's request for federal Fire Management Assistance Grant on Thursday.

When the request was submitted on Wednesday, no homes had burned. Today, dozens of homes and businesses have burned to ash as the fire moved through the small town of Pateros. Nearby Brewster is also under a level three evacuation order, meaning residents must leave the area immediately.

A Red Cross shelter has been set up in the town of Chelan for anyone who needs assistance, including cots, meals and water.

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Washington unemployment drops to lowest in six years

Thanks to a boost in June, Washington's unemployment numbers have dropped to their lowest levels in six years to 5.8 percent – that's according to the state's Employment Security Department.

Industry sectors saw the largest growth with 2,600 jobs. Retail grew by 2,200, leisure and hospitality by 1,900 and wholesale trade by 1,400. Professional and business services, information, manufacturing, financial services and mining also saw growth in the hundreds.

“After a hiring lull in May, Washington employers really picked up the pace in June,” said Paul Turek, an economist with the department. “The state's economy is picking up momentum and the near term job outlook is good.”

During the one-year period ending in June, Employment Security estimates that employers created 84,700 jobs.

State of emergency declared for 20 counties

State of emergency declared for 20 counties

A state of emergency has been declared in 20 eastern Washington counties due to multiple wildfires threatening homes, businesses and public infrastructure. The National Weather Service has also posted red flag warnings and fire weather watches for hazardous conditions (high temperatures, low humidity, high winds) for much of eastern Washington through Friday.

Impacted counties include:

Man killed by power line while cutting wood

Just before noon on Wednesday, July 09 the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a dead body near Calispel Trail Loop Road.

They discovered the body of Walter Richard Rohrer III, 59, who had been found by a Pend Oreille Public Utility District employee near a string of power poles. The employee had been responding to a tree leaning on a power line when he made the discovery.

Investigators say Rohrer had been cutting firewood in the area and cut a tree which landed on a power line. When Rohrer attempted to free the tree, he accidentally cut into live wire with his chainsaw and was electrocuted.

PUD personnel made the area safe so responding emergency personnel could get to Rohrer's body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.