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In brief: State awards grant for oil transportation study

The Washington Department of Ecology has awarded a $250,000 contract to a New York firm to analyze the impacts of oil trains and marine oil shipments in the state.

Environmental Research Consulting will work with the agency and stakeholders statewide, producing a report that looks at the growth in oil transportation and safety issues in Washington. The report will identify gaps in oil spill prevention and preparedness, address public safety and environmental concerns, provide cost-benefit analysis and recommend methods for funding safety programs.

Disclosures from railroads about oil shipments from the Northern Plains show dozens of the trains passing weekly through the Midwest and up to 19 per week reaching Washington.

Gov. Jay Inslee has requested initial findings and recommendations from the study by Oct. 1. The final report is due March 1.

The Department of Ecology is working on the study with other state agencies, the Federal Railroad Administration and tribal governments.

Police say teen stabbed himself

A teenager who told authorities he was stabbed in a robbery attempt late Tuesday night said in a subsequent interview he’d staged the incident himself, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities were looking for a suspect in the incident, which occurred near the 6600 block of West Bernhill Road around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to investigators. The Washington State Patrol stopped a car carrying the teen to the hospital around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

The 17-year-old initially told deputies he was stabbed in a robbery attempt while jogging near Colbert. He said a man with breath that smelled like “garbage” spun him around, demanded a wallet and then stabbed him in the right shoulder.

A follow-up interview with the teen, who is recovering at Providence Holy Family Hospital, revealed the incident was staged and that he’d stabbed himself, according to a news release.

No criminal charges are expected to be filed against the 17-year-old, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Food label backers fined over finances

OLYMPIA – The campaign committee behind last fall’s food-labeling initiative must pay a $4,000 fine for not reporting until after the election thousands of dollars of assistance from other groups.

The Daily Herald reported that the state Public Disclosure Commission imposed the penalty on the Yes on I-522 Committee for failure to disclose nearly $118,000 of in-kind contributions made by PCC Natural Markets, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

Commissioners approved the fine Thursday as part of a settlement.

An investigation found that the bulk of the contributions involved came from the ice cream maker in the form of $2,000 worth of free ice cream at a campaign event and $95,000 worth of ads endorsing the measure, which voters ultimately rejected.

Committee representatives said a clerical error led to the failure to report those in-kind contributions.

“There was no attempt at concealment,” Jim Frush, an attorney for Yes on I-522, told commissioners.