Northwest heat wave: Death toll reaches at least 112

SEATTLE — Authorities say last month’s Pacific Northwest heat wave that toppled all-time temperature records killed at least 112 people in Washington state.

The Department of Health updated its tally on Monday, which caused the death toll to increase by 21, KUOW reported.

In Washington, the bulk of the deaths were in the state’s most populous counties, King, Pierce and Snohomish, though 20 of Washington’s 39 counties reported at least one death caused by the triple-digit heat. The death toll is likely to continue to rise as more deaths are reported and as data is shared between government agencies.

Oregon has blamed at least 116 deaths on the heat and officials in British Columbia say hundreds of “sudden and unexpected deaths” are likely due to the soaring temperatures.

Cities across the region broke all-time heat records during late June’s extreme weather. Seattle hit 108 degrees Fahrenheit and Portland reached 116 F.

Officials say shellfish illnesses are linked to recent heat wave

SEATTLE — Washington health officials are warning of a spike in shellfish-related illnesses believed to be connected to last month’s heat wave.

The Washington Department of Health has reported 52 cases of vibriosis so far in July, surpassing the highest number of cases ever recorded for the month, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Of those cases, 26 were contracted from commercial oysters and four were harvested recreationally. The bacteria that causes the illness, vibrio, is found in small amounts in coastal waters, but multiplies rapidly in warmer conditions.

“Another effect of the recent heat wave is the perfect storm of conditions for vibrio infections,” Director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety Todd Phillips said in a news release.

Health officials advise three rules for consuming shellfish: check the state’s safety maps before harvesting, chill shellfish immediately and cook at 145° F for 15 seconds to kill bacteria. Shellfish should be gathered as the tide goes out. Any shellfish exposed to the sun for over an hour should not be harvested.

United Airlines to halt service to Paine Field in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. — United Airlines plans to suspend service out of Paine Field airport here, beginning in early October.

In a statement Monday, a United spokesperson said the airline has “continued to evaluate and adapt its network” and that the decision is “based on demand trends.”

The airline now operates one daily United Express flight between Denver International Airport and Paine Field, which will be discontinued beginning Oct. 5, according to the statement.

United said it will continue to serve the region with nonstop service to Seattle from Denver, New York/Newark, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, The Seattle Times reported

John Gallagher, a spokesperson for Propeller Airports, which designed, built and operates the two-year-old terminal north of Seattle, said in a statement the move was not a surprise because “carriers are making post-pandemic adjustments to their schedules and markets.”

Suspect jailed after 79-year-old fatally stabbed in Winnett

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Law enforcement officers in central Montana are investigating a fight between two men in a small town that left a 79-year-old man dead and a 29-year-old with a gunshot wound to his arm.

Larry G. Patterson was fatally stabbed on July 15 at an apartment complex in Winnett where he and the suspect lived, Petroleum County Sheriff Bill Cassell said.

The suspect was treated at the hospital before being arrested. Cassell expects charges will be filed early next week.

The suspect had lived in Winnett for less than a year after moving there from Wyoming while the stabbing victim had only lived in Winnett for a couple of weeks after moving from Arizona, Cassell said. The connection between the two men is under investigation.

“At this time we don’t know of any personal connection between the two, other than they lived in the same apartments about 100 feet from each other,” Cassell told the Great Falls Tribune on Monday. “From what we understand there was an argument and the argument resulted in a physical confrontation.”

Cassell said he thinks the last homicide in the county was more than 20 years ago.