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State Senate votes to extend ban on cell phone use while driving

State Senate votes to extend ban on cell phone use while driving

The Washington Senate has voted to extend the state's ban on cell phone use while driving to cover the range of functions a smartphone can now serve.

In a 35-14 vote Tuesday, Senators sent to the House a bill that would update legislation written in 2008 that bans hand-held phone calls and texting while driving. Since then, mobile platforms for Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other social networking and video game uses have gained millions of users. Under existing law, they're legal for drivers to use while behind the wheel, despite being distracting.

Working 4 you: IRS warns of popular tax scams

We know scammers are everywhere, coming up with new and creative ways to steal your identity and your money. And it's no secret that tax season is one of their favorite times of the year. 

The IRS has released what it calls the "dirty dozen" list of the most popular tax scams for 2015. Some of them you've likely heard of before, but you can never be too prepared when it comes to the fight against scammers. 

Here's some of the biggest scams the IRS says to watch for as you prepare your return:

First, watch out for fake IRS calls. It works by scammers pretending they're calling from the IRS and threaten vulnerable people with arrest, deportation or the loss of a driver's license. They demand a payment using prepaid debit cards. But, the IRS says it will never call when first contacting you, and will never ask for debit card numbers over the phone. 

Working 4 you: Fighting off spring allergies

While it feels like spring arrived a while ago, the official start is just around the corner. And for millions of Americans, that means spring allergies.

Soon allergy sufferers will have to deal with water, itchy eyes, runny noses and constant sneezing. Most people suffer from pollen allergies, and while it's not possible to completely get away from pollen, there are steps you can take to limit your exposure. 

It's nice to drive with the window rolled down as the temperature warms up, but for allergy sufferers this can mean trouble. To keep pollen out, keep the windows in your home and car shut. After you've spent time outside, take a shower and wash your hair to keep pollen from spreading. And just as important as washing yourself, wash your pets when they come inside. 

Finally, if you suffer from allergies, start taking allergy medicine before your symptoms begin, which will help clear everything out much quicker. 

City Council considers new allocations for red light cam revenue

You see them dotted across the city, signs warning a red light or speed camera is watching you. But what happens to the money generated by those who break the rules of the road? That's a question that will be before city council next Monday.

A proposed resolution will designate where the excess money will be spent.

Officer Teresa Fuller with Spokane P.D. says from the installation of the cameras to her salary, the program is 100 percent funded by the tickets that are issued.

"These programs start for the city of Spokane with no cost," Fuller said. "They don't start charging us for the camera systems until we start collecting money from violators, so this is a 100 percent violator funded program."

Once the bills are paid that money can they be used to pay for traffic safety improvement projects around Spokane.

The resolution before the council, would allow the city to spend the money on things like new flashing school zone signs, LED street lighting, benches, and pruning of street trees and bushes that constitute a safety hazard.

The council will take up the resolution at their meeting on March 16th.

Target Zero Task Force teams up with Uber for free and discounted rates St. Patrick's Day weekend

Target Zero Task Force teams up with Uber for free and discounted rates St. Patrick's Day weekend

 

Law enforcement will be conducting DUI patrols in Spokane County during this upcoming St. Patrick's Day weekend. As St. Patrick's Day approaches Spokane Country would like to remind residents that finding a designated driver isn't luck, it's smart.

 

To encourage this, the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force is partnering with Uber, an app that connects riders and drivers, to offer free rides to new users and discounted rides to current users.

 

New Uber users who would like to take advantage of this promotion simple need to download the Uber app and input the promo code SPOSAFE1. They can then enjoy an Uber ride free of charge up to $25.

 

Existing users of the app just need to input the promo code SPORIDE1 to get up to two rides at 20% off between 10:00 a.m. March 14 2015 and 3:00 a.m. March 15, 2015- just in time for the St. Patrick's Day parade.

 

Gun rights activists plan protest at Spokane courthouse

Gun rights activists have planned an armed protest outside Spokane's federal courthouse Friday morning. 

The rally is in response to an incident last week, in which Anthony Bosworth showed up at the courthouse carrying an AK-47 rifle. Bosworth says he was just exercising his rights, but Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Marshals told him he was not allowed to bring guns onto federal property. After a brief discussion Bosworth was arrested. 

Bosworth claims there are no clear boundaries, and says he will continue to defend the constitution. 

Gun activists, militia members, tea partiers and the so-called "three percenters" are all expected to attend the protest. It is set to begin Friday morning at 11 o'clock.

Washington State Department of Health warns of Salmonella illness tied to baby birds

Washington State Department of Health warns of Salmonella illness tied to baby birds

 

At least 39 Washingtonians have reported getting ill from Salmonella bacteria after coming in contact with live poultry in the past three years, according to reports reviewed by disease investigators at the state’s Department of Health. These 39 cases were associated with three separate national Salmonella outbreaks that caused more than 1,200 people to get sick. Contact with live poultry may also have contributed to more than 100 other cases of salmonellosis in our state in the past three years that weren’t associated with any known outbreak.

 

Spring is the season when many people who have chickens or ducks in backyard flocks buy baby birds. From the time the baby birds arrive at home, children should be supervised carefully to make sure they wash their hands immediately after touching the animals or their environments. Another prevention step is to make sure children don’t snuggle or kiss the young poultry.