SEATTLE – Amtrak said it has resumed its Cascades passenger train service between Seattle and Everett. Sound Transit said Sounder commuter train service in that corridor will resume this morning.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe said a safety moratorium for mudslides expired at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said a dry spell has stabilized slopes that were saturated by 28 days of rain in December.
The section of tracks along Puget Sound between Seattle and Everett has been hit by 72 “blocking events” since Thanksgiving.
Crews have been able to quickly remove mud and vegetation to clear the tracks for freight trains. Amtrak and Sounder trains observe a 48-hour moratorium to make sure the tracks are safe. Passengers are carried by bus when trains are on hold.
A mudslide on Dec. 17 just south of Everett hit a freight train and derailed seven cars.
Groups to sue over Crater Lake log sale
PORTLAND – Conservation groups plan court action to modify a timber sale on national forest land outside Crater Lake National Park.
The groups formally notified the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday that they will go to court unless it agrees to changes in the DBug timber sale on the Umpqua National Forest. The sale is designed to reduce fire danger and deal with pine beetle infestations around the popular recreation areas of Diamond Lake and Lemolo.
When the sale was first offered in 2009, it became a test of the Obama administration’s commitment to forest protection.
Though the Forest Service dropped some elements, the conservation groups say logging still threatens old growth forest that is important habitat for protected species.
The Forest Service said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Five inmates suing beer, wine companies
BOISE – Five inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution south of Boise are suing a handful of major beer and wine companies, contending that alcohol led to their crimes and that they should have been warned that the beverages can be addictive.
The Idaho Statesman reports Keith Allen Brown, Steven J. Thompson, Woodrow J. Grant, Cory A. Baugh and Jeremy J. Brown filed the lawsuit in Boise’s U.S. District Court last month.
The inmates say Miller Brewing Co., Anheuser-Busch, E. and J. Gallo Winery and other alcohol companies should put warning labels on their products to inform consumers that they are habit forming and addictive, and they’re asking for $1 billion in damages. They don’t have an attorney, and the beer and wine companies have not responded to the lawsuit.
Crab boat runs aground; fishermen safe
COOS BAY, Ore. – The Coast Guard said a crab boat has run aground near Coos Bay, and three fishermen have been rescued.
The Coast Guard said a helicopter hoisted the three to safety early Wednesday from the vessel about 400 yards off Cape Arago.
Rocks thwarted crews that responded by boat.
The 39-foot vessel named the Robert Henry was reported to have about 4,000 pounds of catch and 400 gallons of fuel on board
The Coast Guard said investigators from Astoria will assess the potential for pollution and work with the owner to develop a salvage plan.