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In brief: Washington state parks admission free Monday

In celebration of the anniversary of the National Park Service, which was established Aug. 25, 1916, state parks will be open to the public for free Monday.

Typically, a state-issued Discover Pass is required for each vehicle accessing state parks.

On free days, however, the requirement is waived for all state parks other than lands managed by the departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife.

State parks will have two more free access days this year: in honor of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 27, and in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Utility to pay $657,500 in sexual harassment case

PORTLAND – The Clatskanie People’s Utility District has agreed to pay $657,500 to a former employee who claimed she was discriminated against and fired in retaliation for complaining about a top manager’s sexual harassment.

The Oregonian reported that the settlement resolves the lawsuit brought by Tamela Keith of Longview, Washington.

Keith said she was groped several times by former power manager Joe Taffe. She also alleged the utility’s general manager didn’t consider her for a promotion, stopped inviting her to meetings and retaliated against her.

Keith’s settlement will be the third payout by the Clatskanie PUD in connection with Taffe’s groping of female employees and then-general manager Greg Booth’s handling of complaints.

Three other lawsuits from former employees against the utility are proceeding in U.S. District Court in Portland.