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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:

Lewiston man becomes youngest ever Idaho State Trooper

Lewiston man becomes youngest ever Idaho State Trooper

A 21-year-old Lewiston man is one of the youngest to ever become an Idaho State Police Trooper. After 14 weeks of intense training, Brady Walker was one of 15 new troopers who were commissioned during a ceremony Friday for the Advanced Training Class in the State Capitol Rotunda.

Zachary Nichols of Grangeville was also among the newly-commissioned troopers. Both men are assigned to District 2, which is located in Lewiston.

The newly commissioned troopers will now work in their districts to complete a field training program that lasts approximately 12 weeks. During this stage the new troopers will work with a series of experienced troopers who will teach, evaluate, and document each of them in an on-the-job setting, ISP says.

Twelve of the troopers graduating completed the 10-week Peace Officer Standards Training (POST) Basic Patrol Academy just prior to attending ATC. Three of the troopers joined ISP after working for another law enforcement agency.

Windows phone scam hits Kootenai county

Windows phone scam hits Kootenai county

The Kootenai County Sheriff's office released an alert Thursday afternoon about a prevalent computer scam in the area, carried out over the phone.

It starts with a call from an individual who says he is with “Microsoft Windows Service Center.”

This caller states there is an issue with the customer’s computer and they could fix the problem by downloading an “APP”. If the citizen does go to their computer at the caller’s request, the caller will advise you of what you are seeing on your screen, and ask you to sign into “logmein.com.”

The caller will now have control of your computer. During conversation with the caller, they will ask for identifying information such as the last four of your Social Security Number. The caller will also alert you to your Windows certification being expired with you needing to pay them $395.00 or the computer will be “locked”. If you refuse to pay, your screen will go black with only a cursor for a password. Estimated repairs are over $100.

3 buildings destroyed in N. Idaho fire

A fast-spreading blaze in northern Idaho slightly injured one person and destroyed three buildings in Lewiston.

Lewiston Fire Battalion Chief Dave Chenault tells the Lewiston Tribune that the fire on Tuesday afternoon started in a building and spread to two adjoining properties.

He says a bystander moved a horse out of a barn that caught fire.

Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to nearby homes.

The cause of the blaze hasn't been determined.

3 buildings destroyed in Lewiston fire

A fast-spreading blaze in northern Idaho slightly injured one person and destroyed three buildings in Lewiston.

Lewiston Fire Battalion Chief Dave Chenault tells the Lewiston Tribune that the fire on Tuesday afternoon started in a building and spread to two adjoining properties.

He says a bystander moved a horse out of a barn that caught fire.

Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to nearby homes.

The cause of the blaze hasn't been determined.

Potentially explosive device defused in Lewiston

A potentially explosive device has been defused and taken in as evidence in Lewiston.

Police responded to reports of a strange object in the road just before 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 2100 block of Birch Avenue.

The Lewiston Police Department says officers located three chunks of concrete placed on top of a small cylindrical object wrapped in black electrical tape.

The area surrounding the device was secured, and the Spokane County Sheriff's Department's Explosives Disposal Unit was requested.

They responded and were able to successfully defuse the device.

The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lewiston Police Department at (208) 746-0171, or the Anonymous Tip Line at (208) 298-3939.