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NW Today: Snohomish utility has permit for tidal power test

EVERETT, Wash. — The Snohomish County Public Utility District says it received a federal permit Thursday to place two turbines on the floor of Puget Sound off Whidbey Island.

The project will test whether tidal movements can generate commercial amounts of electricity without harming the environment.

The test area is 200 feet deep in Admiralty Inlet about a half-mile from Fort Casey State Park.

The utility plans to study the turbines for three to five years.

SW Idaho county assessor warns of clever rental scam

BOISE — The Ada County assessor in southwest Idaho is warning residents about what he calls one of the most clever scams he’s ever seen.

Bob McQuade says scammers find homes for sale and then lists them on websites as rentals.

McQuade says the scam can trick renters because the fake property rentals include the real owner’s name and that the owner has decided to take the home of the market and rent it.

McQuade says the scammers then send a rental application to would-be renters to get personal financial information and ask for a deposit.

McQuade says his office has been getting phone calls from renters wanting to confirm the legal owner of a specific home.

He says because the real owner’s name is used in the scam, it appears legitimate.

Unsafe water notice lifted at Moscow mobile park

MOSCOW, Idaho — State officials say residents at a Moscow mobile home park for the first time in months have safe drinking water.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality in an announcement Thursday says it has lifted an unsafe water notice at Syringa Mobile Home Park in Moscow.

The notice had been in place since December for the park’s 150 residents.

The agency says the water became safe after workers fixed leaks and installed a flow-regulated chlorination system.

The agency in February filed a lawsuit against owner Magar E. Magar contending the mobile home park is violating wastewater and drinking water requirements.

That lawsuit is pending in 2nd District Court.

Residents are also pursuing a class-action lawsuit against Magar, contending lack of maintenance has made the mobile home park unsafe.

More tuberculosis cases in Washington state

OLYMPIA — State health officials say tuberculosis cases are on the rise in Washington state after several years of decline.

Last year, 209 cases of tuberculosis were reported. That was a 13 percent increase over the 185 cases reported in 2012.

Health officials say the tuberculosis rate in Washington state has typically been lower than the national average, but in 2013 Washington beat the national rate.

The bacterial infection, which can be fatal, is found most often in King, Snohomish, Pierce, Spokane, Clark and Thurston counties. Just 75 years ago, TB killed nearly 1,000 state residents every year. In 2013, there were 16 TB-related deaths.

In 2013, there were two cases of drug-resistant TB reported to the Department of Health. Drug-resistant TB can pose a public health threat.

New geothermal plant planned in S. Idaho

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A geothermal company says it plans to build a $150 million energy facility near Malta in south-central Idaho.

Aguacaliente spokesman Trent Yang tells The Times-News in a story on Friday that the company recently finished drilling a third successful production well.

Yang says the company hopes to build a 25-megawatt power plant at Walker Ranch.

The location is near an existing 10-megawatt geothermal plant called Raft River Energy operated by U.S. Geothermal Inc.

Aguacaliente plans to drill 18 wells. Yang says half will be used to pull up hot water and half will be used as reinjection wells to return the water underground.

He says the company hopes to have the geothermal plant running in 2016.

Oregon death row inmate wants to donate kidney

NEWBERG, Ore. — Oregon death row inmate Christian Longo wants to donate a kidney to a Newberg man so desperate he’s been standing on a corner with a sign asking for an organ.

Longo contacted KGW after its story on Kevin Gray of Newberg who has kidney failure and is on a donor waiting list.

Longo says he and other inmates would be interested in donating organs if they were allowed.

In 2003, Longo was sentenced to death for killing his wife and three children on the Oregon coast. He has become an advocate for inmate organ donation and wanted to donate his organs after his execution. Gov. John Kitzhaber’s moratorium on executions in 2011 halted that idea.

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