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In brief: Farmworkers sue over pesticides

Fri., Nov. 5, 2010

MOSES LAKE – Four farmworkers are suing an Eastern Washington apple orchard for allegedly exposing them to a pesticide while thinning trees.

Attorney Sarah Leyrer of Columbia Legal Services said the workers were taken to a local hospital after experiencing headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tightness in the chest among other symptoms.

Leyrer said the pesticide – called Lorsban 4E – was allowed to drift onto a neighboring orchard.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Grant County Superior Court against the owners of Teresa’s Orchard near Royal City, Wash.

Orchard manager Roger Goodwin declined to comment because a hearing on the incident with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is pending.

Kempthorne starts new job as lobbyist

BOISE – After a quarter-century in public office, Idaho’s Dirk Kempthorne has officially rejoined the private sector as the top lobbyist for the nation’s life insurers.

The former Idaho governor, U.S. senator and Interior Secretary became president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers on Wednesday. The group announced the hiring in September.

Kempthorne succeeds former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating as chief executive officer for the group.

Squirrel bridge under construction

LONGVIEW, Wash. – The Longview squirrel bridge known as Nutty Narrows has offered the critters safe passage over busy streets in the southwest Washington city for decades.

This week it’s being taken down to be restored and then moved a short distance.

It’s been moved before. In 2005, one of the trees that anchored the span over Olympia Way had to be taken down because of disease, and the bridge location was shifted. This time, the city says the bridge will be put back up over Olympia Way, in mid-November.

The Nutty Narrows Bridge is a 60-foot landmark built in 1963 by contractor Amos Peters, who was dismayed by the number of squirrels who died in the area.


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