Seattle hospital: COVID-19 outbreak killed 1, infected staff
SEATTLE — A hospital in Seattle has confirmed a coronavirus outbreak killed one patient and sickened three others.
The Seattle Times reported that 10 staffers at Harborview Medical Center also tested positive for COVID-19 and are isolating.
Dr. John Lynch, medical director of Harborview’s Infection Control, Antibiotic Stewardship and Employee Health programs, said Friday the patient died in the intensive care unit. The patient died Oct. 8. He said the hospital is trying to determine how the outbreak occurred.
The state of Washington’s Department of Public Health, as of Oct. 10, has counted 321 outbreaks in health care settings, which includes hospitals, outpatient clinics, behavioral health facilities, supported living facilities, home healthcare, dialysis centers, and independent senior living facilities.
An additional 659 outbreaks have been recorded among long-term care facilities during that time period, according to a statewide COVID-19 outbreak report published Thursday.
Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been more than 96,000 confirmed virus cases in Washington and more than 2,200 deaths.
Man arrested after fight at Idaho haunted house over Trump
BOISE — A Boise man was charged with assault after police say he drunkenly pulled a handgun on teens at a haunted house in Idaho last weekend because they said they didn’t like President Donald Trump, authorities said.
Joshua Lockner, 37, was arrested on six felony counts of aggravated assault and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon under the influence, the Idaho Statesman reported Thursday.
Police responded to a report last Friday around 10:45 p.m. that a man pulled out a gun and threatened people at Haunted World in Caldwell.
Canyon County sheriff’s deputies said they obtained a handgun that was in his back pocket. Deputies also said Lockner smelled of alcohol and told authorities he was drinking.
Lockner also reportedly told authorities he was with his family getting on a bus when two Black teens threatened to hurt his wife and were aggressive toward him over his T-shirt, which read “Trump 2020,” authorities said, adding that others in the area were concerned for their safety as he held the gun.
Lockner was arrested and booked into the Canyon County jail. He posted a $25,000 bond Tuesday, and was released. He appeared in court Tuesday but has not yet entered a plea.
Montana man gets 15 years on drug trafficking charges
KALISPELL, Mont. — A Bigfork man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release after he was convicted of methamphetamine trafficking in northern Montana, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said Shane Alan Nault, 44, pleaded guilty in June to possession with intent to distribute meth and possession of a firearm, the Daily Inter Lake reported.
Prosecutors said drug task force officers were alerted by informants that Nault was selling meth in and around Hill County, and set up an undercover operation that also surveilled multiple drug transactions in his pickup truck.
Nault was arrested in March 2018 after officers located the truck and found him inside, allegedly under the influence of narcotics, authorities said. Police said they then obtained a search warrant for the truck where they found a pistol, about 17 ounces of meth and other drug paraphernalia.
Nault was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a previous felony conviction in U.S. District Court. He was arrested again in August 2019 by Lake County sheriff’s deputies after he was seen by ATF agents working at a business in Woods Bay, KRTV-TV originally reported.
He was also sentenced for drug crimes in Hill County in 2001 and 2002.
Washington Supreme Court reverses 1960 cemetery decision
SEATTLE — The Washington state Supreme Court has reversed its 1960 decision that allowed cemeteries to discriminate on the basis of race, a rule considered irrelevant as federal and state regulations have already made it illegal.
The Supreme Court said on Thursday it was trying to reckon with the court system’s long history of racial discrimination and was taking a small symbolic step to undo systemic racism, the Seattle Times reported.
Following national protests stemming from the police killing of George Floyd, all nine justices on the court wrote an open letter in June foreshadowing their plans to overrule the decision that made it illegal for cemeteries to “refuse burial to any person because such person may not be of the Caucasian race.”
“This very court once held that a cemetery could lawfully deny grieving black parents the right to bury their infant,” the justices said in the letter. “We cannot undo this wrong — but we can recognize our ability to do better in the future.”
The decision came as the court simultaneously denied an initiative on Thursday that would have lowered many state vehicle-registration fees to $30.
“It’s institutionally really important that the courts look backward in time and acknowledge when things are really wrong, when they accomplish an injustice rather than justice,” University of Washington School of Law professor Theo Myhre said.