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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In brief: Bill may tighten rules on traffic cameras

From Staff And Wire Reports

OLYMPIA – Cities that set up traffic cameras to catch speeders in school zones would also have to put up warning signs and lights that flash when the cameras are in use, under a bill being considered by the Legislature.

Under current law, cities that set up cameras to catch speeders in school zones must adopt an ordinance and mark the area at least 30 days before the camera is active. Under HB 1087, they would also have to mark those areas with a sign that says “camera active when flashing” and a flashing yellow light that is on only when the camera is in use.

The bill had its first hearing in the House Transportation Committee, which will vote later on whether to move it to the full House.

Bill seeks to restrict flame retardants

OLYMPIA – The Legislature could ban several cancer-causing chemicals that are used as flame retardants in children’s items and home furniture.

Doctors, fire officials and chemists urged the House Environment Committee Monday to approve HB 1174, which would ban all but minute amounts of two flame-retardant chemicals commonly known as TCEP and TDCPP in any product, and four other chemicals on a list of substances considered a high concern for danger to children.

The chemicals are found in household furniture, toys and diaper changing pads. They get into the air and dust in homes and have been linked to cancer and developmental disabilities, the committee was told. When those items are in a fire, they eventually burn and create hazards in the smoke that are more dangerous for occupants and firefighters than the flames.

“It’s not the fires,” Robert Bradley of the fire chiefs association, said. “It’s the smoke that kills them and the chemicals in that smoke.”

The Association of Washington Business objected to the bill, saying it would give the state Department of Ecology too much power to ban more chemicals and create an “onerous” certification process for manufacturers. The committee delayed a vote on the bill until later in the session.

Foundation pledges $1 million to GU MBA

The Johnson Scholarship Foundation has pledged $1 million to Gonzaga University’s MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship program.

The money will be used to match future contributions to create a $2 million student scholarship endowment for the MBA program, which was created in 2001 with support from the West Palm Beach, Florida-based foundation as well.

The specialty program is designed to promote entrepreneurship and business education among Native Americans.

The endowment is being created in honor of Diane and Ted Johnson, who have retired from their leadership roles within the foundation. Ted Johnson is the son of the foundation’s founder, the late Theodore Johnson, a United Parcel Service executive and company shareholder.

Drinking water sent to city after oil spill

GLENDIVE, Mont. – Truckloads of drinking water were being shipped to the eastern Montana city of Glendive on Monday after traces of a major oil spill along the Yellowstone River were detected in public water supplies, raising concerns about a potential health risk.

Preliminary tests at the city’s water treatment plant indicated that at least some oil got into a water supply intake along the river, according to state and federal officials. About 6,000 people are served by the intake, Glendive Mayor Jerry Jimison said.

Officials stressed that they were bringing in the shipments of drinking water as a precaution and did not know yet whether there was any health threat. Results of further tests to determine the scope of the danger were expected in coming days.

Up to 50,000 gallons of oil spilled in the pipeline accident Saturday.