Bernie Sanders to hold campaign rally Monday in Tacoma

OLYMPIA — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will hold a rally in the Tacoma Dome on Monday night in his first 2020 campaign appearance in Washington.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle, who is chairwoman of Sanders’ state campaign, will joint him at the event, the Seattle Times reported Thursday.

Sanders, fresh off a win in the New Hampshire primary, is visiting Washington ahead of its March 10 presidential primary. State Democrats scrapped the caucuses they previously used — and which Sanders won in 2016 — for the primary. Ballots will be mailed to the state’s nearly 4.5 million registered voters on Feb. 21.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination remains in flux, with the U.S. senator from Vermont vying with other top contenders, including Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who placed a close second in New Hampshire, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who placed third. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., remains in third place in the national delegate count.

Buttigieg is scheduled to be in the state Saturday for a private fundraiser, but as of Thursday afternoon, his campaign had announced no public events.

Man injured in Amtrak derailment gets $10 million in judgment

TACOMA — A jury has awarded more than $10 million to a man who was seriously hurt when an Amtrak train derailed between Tacoma and Olympia in 2017.

Donnell Linton, 47 of Renton, is one of many passengers of Amtrak Cascades 501 who sued Amtrak after the train left the tracks and some of its cars crashed onto the freeway below. Three died and dozens were injured.

Jurors issued the verdict in Linton’s favor Tuesday in in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, the News Tribune reported.

An Amtrak spokesperson declined to comment about the decision.

Linton and his son were traveling to Oregon to visit Linton’s newborn grandchild when the train derailed Dec. 18, 2017, one of his attorneys, David Beninger, said.

Linton suffered fractures to his face, shoulder and ribs. He is still getting treatment, the attorney said. His son, now 14, also suffered facial fractures.

“He and his son got ejected from the train and landed on the pavement below,” Beninger said.

Linton’s verdict is not the first regarding the derailment.

A jury awarded nearly $17 million to several plaintiffs in one case last year. Soon after, another woman’s lawsuit ended with a $4.5 million verdict.

Other cases are pending. Some have settled, Beninger said.

Washington salmon hatcheries damaged by heavy rains

SEATTLE — Recent rain has damaged some salmon hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest, Washington wildlife experts said.

Flooding inundated some of the facilities, young salmon were swept away, and sediment spilled into egg strays killing some of the unborn fish, local news media reported Wednesday.

The effects of the damage could be experienced for years to come, experts said.

The Nisqually Indian Reservation community has endured severe floods affecting more than 600,000 coho salmon, but it is unclear how many were swept away, hatchery workers reservation said.

About 30 miles northeast, 30 percent of salmon at Puyallup Fish Hatchery were released early because of wet weather, and some of their facilities were damaged as well, workers said.

It is likely that wild salmon were affected by the rain too, experts said.

“It’s going to be very tough on those fish, when you have a flood condition like this,” said Darin Combs, a supervisor for the Issaquah Hatchery. “I’d be surprised if there’s a whole lot of survival in this year’s group of fish that are out.”

Salmon at the Issaquah Hatchery have survived, but it has been hard to feed them in waters that are not clear enough for fish to see their food, Combs said.

Federal budget does not fund volcano debris dam, monitoring

LONGVIEW, Wash. — The annual federal budget does not fund a request to raise the height of a dam in Washington to stop debris flow from the Mount St. Helens eruption, county officials said.

President Donald Trump’s annual budget proposal does not include money to raise the Toutle River sediment retaining dam, the Daily News reported.

The 1980 eruption dumped about 3 billion tons of erodible debris in the upper Toutle Valley, which could clog the Cowlitz River and raise the risk of flooding.

The fiscal year 2021 budget would mark the sixth consecutive year the federal government has not funded the region’s volcano-related flood control obligations, officials said.

The Portland District of the Army Corps of Engineers wants to raise the dam another 10 feet in 2022, and requested funds to design the project.

The budget also fails to provide requested funds to monitor Mount St. Helens sediment.

“Without the data, we are flying blind as far as understanding what our level of (flood) protection is, and that impacts so many different communities within the county,” Cowlitz County Commissioner Joe Gardner said.

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