Kilmer Secures Critical Funding for Puget Sound Restoration

Friday, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to approve a $5 million increase in the Puget Sound Geographic Program, which provides critical grant support to state, local, and tribal governments to implement projects to improve water quality, protect shorelines, and enhance fish passage and salmon habitat. The increase, which Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) fought to secure as a member of the Appropriations Committee, brings total funding for the program to $38 million for fiscal year 2021. The action rejects a Trump Administration proposal to eliminate the program altogether and represents an increase of more than 15% above the current funding level.

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10th Congressional District Candidates Forum

[VIDEO] The Primary Election is August 4th and those in the 10th Congressional District will be deciding the top two candidates from a field of 19 to fill the U.S. Representative seat being vacated by Denny Heck. To help you make an informed decision, the League of Women Voters of Thurston County and the League of Women Voters of Mason County held a virtual candidates forum with those seeking the seat that represents portions of Thurston, Pierce, and Mason counties. The forum, produced by TVW, was held July 8th and are scheduled to air on TVW (Hood Canal Communications’ channel 42) at 9 AM July 16th and 2:30 PM July 18th.

MasonWebTV Powered by HCC has been granted permission to post the videos of the nearly three-hour forum:

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Three More COVID-19 Cases in Mason County

Thursday, July 9, 2020, Mason County Public Health reported three more Mason County residents have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The man in his 20’s, the woman in her 50’s and the man in his 60’s bring the number of total positive cases in Mason County to 59. However, the number of active COVID-19 cases dropped to eight.

According to a news release, one of the latest positive cases is a contact of a previous positive case. The other two are contacts of positive cases out of State. Mason County Public Health is continuing contact interviews. The patients are currently isolating at home.

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Initial Claims for Unemployment Decreased Last Week

During the week of June 28 through July 4, there were 28,393 initial regular unemployment claims (down 11.0% from the prior week) and 736,151 total claims for all unemployment benefit categories (up 5.7% from the prior week) filed by Washingtonians, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD).  

  • Initial regular claims applications remain at unprecedented elevated levels and are at 416 percent above last year’s weekly new claims applications.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) initial claims as well as continued/ongoing claims all increased over the previous week.

Mason County, however, saw a slight increase in initial claims for unemployment last week. There were 188 claims June 28, 2020 to July 4, 2020. Down three from the week before. There were 185 claims June 21, 2020 to June 27, 2020.

ESD paid out over $470.9 million for 404,475 individual claims – a decrease of $33.9 million and 5,177 less individual claims compared to the prior week.

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Belfair Man Flown to Seattle Hospital after Crash

A 24-year-old Belfair man was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after the car he was driving rolled over on Highway 3 near South Shore Road early Thursday morning.

A Washington State Press Memo says a 2001 BMW 330 was southbound on State Route 3 at a high rate of speed about 1:30 AM. At milepost 25, the driver failed to negotiate a curve, the car crossed the northbound lane and struck an embankment. The BMW continued to travel along the ditch until its rear caught which caused the car to roll.

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CARES Act Shelter Grants Available

Mason County Public Health is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the federal CARES Act Emergency Solutions Grant COVID- 19 (ESG- CV) and a comprehensive Shelter Grant Program.

The Shelter Grant Program is designed to create new overnight shelter bed capacity and expand emergency shelter service s for people experiencing homelessness. The goal is to bring more people inside and help shelter residents find permanent housing quickly. The intended grant start date is August 1, 2020. Funds will be available until June 2023.

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Inslee Issues, Extends COVID-19 Proclamations

Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a new proclamation in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Inslee also announced the extension of the Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act proclamation and the DOH Health Care Facilities and Hand Sanitizer proclamation

A July 7 letter from the Legislature extends proclamation 20-28.6 and 20-36.2 until August 1. 

Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act Extension20-28.7 

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Fall High School Sports Delayed – UPDATED

Updated News Release from the WIAA:

The WIAA Executive Board took action on July 7th, 2020 to push back the start date for fall sports.  The action was taken in an attempt to relieve pressure on member schools as they prepare for the opening of schools to in-person and/or online learning.  The current dates to commence fall sports practices are September 5th for football and September 7th for all other sports.  These starting dates (Saturday and Monday of Labor Day weekend) allow for contests to begin as early as September 18th.

On July 21st, the Executive Board will review other options for fall sports should further delays become necessary, with an announcement to be made on July 22nd.  In the interim, a planning committee made up of Executive Board members, WIAA staff, and representatives from WIAA member schools will review possible options and make recommendations.

The Executive Board recognizes this recent action creates many questions, and it will work to provide answers on July 22nd.  In the interim, we suggest schools avoid any rescheduling of games in Arbiter until a decision is made on how the delayed start impacts the fall season.

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