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Spokane/East. Wash/North Idaho News Releases for Sat. Oct. 24 - 7:24 am
Wed. 10/21/20
Coordinated Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Initiative for the Greater Spokane Community Announced
DEA Seattle - 10/21/20 9:53 AM

Spokane, Wash., - Today, United States Attorney William Hyslop and DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis announced a coordinated Opioid Fentanyl Outreach initiative by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, community leaders, prevention specialists and school superintendents.  They were joined at the announcement by Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward and Spokane Chief of Police Craig Meidl.

The Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Project addresses the public safety and public health threats caused by the increasing influx of deadly fentanyl into Spokane and throughout Eastern District of Washington.  This initiative has a multi-pronged approach with the focus on educating our communities and directing resources through community outreach and prevention efforts.

United States Attorney Hyslop stated, “Our communities, our residents, our parents, and our youth are all faced with the growing and continued influx of deadly fentanyl into Eastern Washington.  Very small amounts in a fentanyl-laced pill can kill a person.  We are now seeing it here in Spokane, and sadly, we are now witnessing deaths in our high school and young adult populations.  Dangerous counterfeit pills killing Americans are manufactured in mass quantities by drug trafficking organizations based in Mexico. In response, law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels have increased efforts to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking groups for importing and distributing this lethal narcotic in the Spokane, Yakima and Tri-Cities areas.  However, this is much greater than just a law enforcement issue; it is now a critical community issue that everyone must address.”     

Keith Weis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration stated, “Now, it is more important than ever that we all come together as a call for action to save lives. Per the CDC, in 2019 more than 71,000 lives were lost in the United States as a result of drug overdoses. Of this number, approximately 51% of the deaths can be attributed to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.  Alarmingly, DEA seizures of fentanyl in Eastern Washington have increased almost 200% over the 2019 to 2020 time period.  A lethal dose of fentanyl is estimated to be about two milligrams, but can vary based on an individual’s body size, tolerance, amount of previous usage and other factors. Additionally, fentanyl can be lethal when it is airborne or even when touched and absorbed through the skin.”

As part of the Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Project, community, law enforcement, and educational leaders have come together in Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Yakima to address this issue.  Plans are underway with media engagement pieces, town halls and presentations.  On October 7th, 2020, DEA Diversion in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services held a virtual conference with hundreds of health care professionals in Washington providing information and support during the pandemic and raising awareness on the ongoing opioid crisis.

On October 12, 2020, a 12 week media awareness campaign was launched in the Eastern District of Washington, “You Can Save Lives” knowing the warning signs of counterfeit fentanyl pills keeps your loved ones and the community safe. Viewers can obtain a variety of resources at 

https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/https://vimeo.com/user96937699/download/469641512/a59c2c8768

Community forums and parent discussions are being organized.  School Superintendents throughout the region are collaborating on educational lessons and presentations, with a focus on student involvement to spread the message.  A special video about the fentanyl problem is being produced and will be available. 

Another resource available to educators and the community is DEA Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program. Red Ribbon Week is celebrated annually October 23-31.  This year’s theme is “Be Happy, Be Brave, Be Drug Free.”  You can learn more about DEA Red Ribbon and ways to get involved through programs and contests by visiting https://www.dea.gov/redribbon Other outreach efforts are being added as they are planned.

This Saturday, October 24, 2020, National Drug Take Back Day will be recognized.  The United States Attorney’s Office is sponsoring a socially distanced “Drug Take Back” site from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the drive-through parking lot of the Boy Scouts of America, Inland Northwest Council, 411 Boy Scout Way in Spokane.  More information about Drug Take Back Day is available at https://takebackday.dea.gov/

The Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Strategy Committee Greater Spokane and Spokane County Members includes:

William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney

Keith Weis, DEA Special Agent in Charge

Mark Haigh, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Laci Larson, DEA Group Supervisor – Spokane District Office

Stephanie Van Marter, Assistant United States Attorney

Honorable Nadine Woodward, Mayor – City of Spokane

Chief Craig Meidl, Spokane Police Department

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Chief Dave Ellis, Spokane Valley Police Department

Christian Parker, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent – Spokane Resident Agency

Larry Haskell, Spokane County Prosecutor

Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane Regional Health District

Dr. Nicole Rodin, Clinical Assistant Professor – Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Michal Dunn, Superintendent ESD 101

Dr. Adam Swinyard, Superintendent – Spokane Public Schools

Shawn Woodward, Superintendent – Mead School District 354

Ben Small, Superintendent – Central Valley School District

Kyle Rydell, Superintendent – West Valley School District #363

Kelly Shea, Superintendent – East Valley School District #361

Robert Roettger, Superintendent – Cheney Public Schools

 

 

 

 


Tue. 10/20/20
It's all about the numbers: BLM Releases Annual Almanac (Photo)
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 10/20/20 3:31 PM
2019 BLM Facts
2019 BLM Facts
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2020-10/5514/139325/thumb_BLM_Facts_2020.jpg

Portland, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Oregon and Washington is proud to announce the latest BLM Facts, our annual illustrated almanac answering the diverse and detailed questions one may have about public lands in the Pacific Northwest. 

BLM Facts has lots of numbers, and those figures do tell a story. In most cases, your public lands are located within an hour's drive from where you live or work. You can find an amazing array of resources and opportunities at almost any site you visit.

This 2019 report has the latest BLM news and updates – from wild and scenic rivers and exciting recreation sites to wildlife, cultural, and archaeological programs. BLM Facts also shares information about management plans for minerals and energy, forestry, mining, wild horses, and much more.

In addition to maintaining our commitment to delivering an updated volume every year, we continue to make improvements such as full-color maps, photos, and a plethora of timely, user-friendly data. You can read it online at:

https://www.blm.gov/documents/oregon-washington/public-room/fact-sheet/2019-blm-facts

You can also review BLM’s annual almanac library, going all the way back to 1963, at:

https://www.blm.gov/media/public-room/oregon-washington

-BLM-

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.




Attached Media Files: 2019 BLM Facts

DEA announces Project Safeguard - The Pacific Northwest intensifies efforts to combat drug-related violent crime
DEA Seattle - 10/20/20 1:18 PM

SEATTLE – Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea today announced that the DEA will direct resources to help reduce violent crime in communities throughout the country.  Under this initiative, called Project Safeguard, DEA will identify and prioritize ongoing drug trafficking investigations with a nexus to violent crime.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime are inextricably linked,” said Acting DEA Administrator Shea.  “From the extreme levels of violence in Mexican cartels, to the open air drug markets in American cities, drug traffickers employ violence, fear, and intimidation to ply their trade.  Neighborhoods across our country are terrorized by violent drug trafficking organizations that have little regard for human life, and profit from the pain and suffering of our people. Along with our law enforcement partners, DEA is committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our communities.”

“Violence goes hand in hand with illegal drug trafficking and continually threatens the safety of our communities.” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis.  “While conducting investigations we continually  encounter individuals associated with violent actions that have included kidnappings, armed assaults, home invasions, murder for hire, weapons trafficking and  distributing the most dangerous drug we face –fentanyl.”

Working in collaboration with our federal, state, and local partners, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, DEA’s Project Safeguard will comprise three focus areas to address the growing violent crime threat in many cities across the United States:

  • Disrupting, dismantling, and destroying the most significant violent drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States;
  • Increasing federal prosecutions of firearms traffickers associated with drug trafficking organizations; and
  • Prioritizing the capture of DEA fugitives who employ violence as part of drug trafficking.

The traffickers that flood our communities with deadly drugs, including opioids, heroin, fentanyl, meth and cocaine, are often the same criminals responsible for the high rates of assault, murder, and gang activity in our cities.  These criminals employ fear, violence, and intimidation to traffic drugs, and in doing so, exacerbate a drug crisis that claims more than 70,000 American lives every year.   In recent months, violent crime has spiked in numerous cities and regions around the country, and drug trafficking is responsible, in part, for this violence.

Since August 1, 2020, the DEA Seattle Field Division and its state and local partners have conducted operations against these violent traffickers throughout the Pacific Northwest which have yielded:

  • 146 arrests
  • 95 weapons seized
  • $3,559,107.00 in assets seized
  • Seized drugs:

           120 pounds of heroin

           18.5 pounds of powder fentanyl

            571 pounds of methamphetamine

            37 pounds of cocaine

            41,200 pills containing fentanyl

The DEA Seattle Field Division has worked these high level investigations with the assistance of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. 


Mon. 10/19/20
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Awards More than $1 Million to Idaho Nonprofits
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust - 10/19/20 8:13 AM

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has released its Summer 2020 Grants Report.

  • This report includes 65 grants to nonprofits serving the Pacific Northwest totaling $12.2 million.
  • In total, 6 grants were awarded to organizations serving the state of Idaho totaling more than $1 million.
  • A list of sample grants can be found in the release below or on our website here.
  • The full list of grants can be found here.

October 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

An Optimistic Spirit – Summer 2020 Grants Report

In many ways, it feels like 2020 just will not give us a break.

We’ve all discussed at length the unprecedented challenges this year has brought to our communities. As summer faded to fall, we were struck with yet another once-in-a-generation tragedy as the Pacific Northwest was ravaged by wildfires that caused destruction on a scale we’ve not seen in decades. Lives were lost. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Entire communities were decimated.

Yet in the face of painful moment after painful moment, we find reason for hope and optimism. As every new challenge has arisen, no matter how daunting, we have seen individuals and organizations lining up on the front lines to address it in ways that serve the common good of their community.

  • Fire fighters and first responders rushing into harms way to serve and protect individuals and families.
  • Providing shelter and emergency supplies to those forced to evacuate.
  • Researching new vaccines and treatments for a deadly virus.
  • Safely serving meals and providing to those who are hungry.
  • Putting their own lives at risk to treat the sick.
  • Collecting and sharing food with families who have lost income.
  • Identifying ways to continue to offer safe facilities for vulnerable children and families.
  • Finding innovative ways to keep educating and inspiring children and families in days of social distancing.

The resilient spirit of the Pacific Northwest and the commitment of individuals and families throughout our communities to stand up and contribute to the positive change we so desperately need is heartwarming and inspiring. We see this in innovative collaborations, like the partnership between ecologists and fire practitioners studying firefighting behavior at Sycan Marsh. We see this as communities have rallied to connect and bring resources to families in need through the My NeighbOR effort. We see this as our friends at the Foraker Group bring together business and nonprofit leaders to share strategies to move the nonprofit sector forward.

Our team recently had the opportunity to see this spirit on display as our board reviewed our most recent collection of grant applications, including dozens of incredible nonprofits finding innovative and sustainable ways to serve the diverse needs of our region. At this meeting our Trustees approved 65 grants totalling $12,252,138 to nonprofits serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and across the Pacific Northwest. We have pulled a few example stories below and you can find a full list of these grants here.

As we enter the final weeks of 2020 and prepare for a season of generosity and giving, we are hopeful for the future and eager to see what other ways individuals across our region can help partner and contribute to the common good.

To our newest grantees, our existing partners and all organizations and individuals that are tackling the difficult work of supporting individuals and families throughout our region so that all communities have an opportunity to flourish and thrive, we say THANK YOU!

- Steve Moore

Executive Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Alaska

  • Children and adults in Alaska will receive increased mental health support as Alaska Behavioral Health (formerly Anchorage Community Mental Health Services) expands and renovates its facility.
  • The expansion of Camp K by Camp Fire Alaska will increase its ability to serve youth and teens while also improving the camp’s infrastructure to reliably serve future campers for generations to come.
  • The Church of Love, a vibrant community gathering space, will be significantly renovated by Cook Inlet Housing Authority, increasing accessibility and strengthening the space to serve for generations to come.
  • New equipment purchased by University of Alaska Fairbanks will help researchers gain increased precision in their work to better understand oceanic ecosystem productivity.

Idaho

Montana

  • Patients with serious illnesses and their families will have increased access to housing following the construction of the new Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing space within the Great Falls medical corridor.
  • Reach Out and Care Wheels will add a new Executive Director, helping expand its efforts to provide wheelchairs to those in need.
  • New staff at Trust Montana will help steward properties and secure affordable housing and community assets for generations to come.

Oregon

  • Camp Ukandu will be able to offer more children diagnosed with cancer and their families a true summer camp experience through the introduction of new staff.
  • More girls will have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship as the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington add new staff.
  • In4All will hire new staff to help serve and support more students of color and students living in poverty.
  • Preteen and teen girls in Lane and Linn Counties struggling with trauma and behavioral health challenges will receive increased support as Ophelia’s Place adds staff.
  • New staff at St. Mary’s Home for Boys will help the organization help prepare young men to flourish and thrive after graduating high school.

Washington

  • Students will have access to new equipment and training programs following a grant to Black Pilots of America.
  • A new gymnasium built by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County will provide increased programming offerings for children and teens in Granite Falls.
  • Vulnerable, at-risk and underserved youth will receive increased support as the Center for Children and Youth Justice adds new staff.
  • New administrative technology will help College Success Foundation serve more underrepresented, low-income students as they seek to graduate high school, graduate from college and transition to a successful career.
  • New staff at the Feiro Marine Life Center will help accelerate plans to expand its work and programming.
  • Stolen Youth will add new staff, allowing the organization to increase its programs combatting human trafficking.
  • The Woodland Park Zoo will update and expand their highly popular Northern Trail exhibit, serving more children and families.

Pacific Northwest

  • Interfaith Youth Core will hire new staff to help bring a message of unity and collaboration to the Pacific Northwest.

About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The Murdock Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 6,700 grants totaling more than $1 billion. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on our website.

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M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Awards $4.7 Million to Washington Nonprofits
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust - 10/19/20 8:07 AM

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has released its Summer 2020 Grants Report.

  • This report includes 65 grants to nonprofits serving the Pacific Northwest totaling $12.2 million.
  • In total, 22 grants were awarded to organizations serving the state of Washington totaling $4.7 million.
  • A list of sample grants can be found in the release below or on our website here.
  • The full list of grants can be found here.

October 19, 2020

For Immediate Release

An Optimistic Spirit – Summer 2020 Grants Report

In many ways, it feels like 2020 just will not give us a break.

We’ve all discussed at length the unprecedented challenges this year has brought to our communities. As summer faded to fall, we were struck with yet another once-in-a-generation tragedy as the Pacific Northwest was ravaged by wildfires that caused destruction on a scale we’ve not seen in decades. Lives were lost. Homes and businesses were destroyed. Entire communities were decimated.

Yet in the face of painful moment after painful moment, we find reason for hope and optimism. As every new challenge has arisen, no matter how daunting, we have seen individuals and organizations lining up on the front lines to address it in ways that serve the common good of their community.

  • Fire fighters and first responders rushing into harms way to serve and protect individuals and families.
  • Providing shelter and emergency supplies to those forced to evacuate.
  • Researching new vaccines and treatments for a deadly virus.
  • Safely serving meals and providing to those who are hungry.
  • Putting their own lives at risk to treat the sick.
  • Collecting and sharing food with families who have lost income.
  • Identifying ways to continue to offer safe facilities for vulnerable children and families.
  • Finding innovative ways to keep educating and inspiring children and families in days of social distancing.

The resilient spirit of the Pacific Northwest and the commitment of individuals and families throughout our communities to stand up and contribute to the positive change we so desperately need is heartwarming and inspiring. We see this in innovative collaborations, like the partnership between ecologists and fire practitioners studying firefighting behavior at Sycan Marsh. We see this as communities have rallied to connect and bring resources to families in need through the My NeighbOR effort. We see this as our friends at the Foraker Group bring together business and nonprofit leaders to share strategies to move the nonprofit sector forward.

Our team recently had the opportunity to see this spirit on display as our board reviewed our most recent collection of grant applications, including dozens of incredible nonprofits finding innovative and sustainable ways to serve the diverse needs of our region. At this meeting our Trustees approved 65 grants totalling $12,252,138 to nonprofits serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and across the Pacific Northwest. We have pulled a few example stories below and you can find a full list of these grants here.

As we enter the final weeks of 2020 and prepare for a season of generosity and giving, we are hopeful for the future and eager to see what other ways individuals across our region can help partner and contribute to the common good.

To our newest grantees, our existing partners and all organizations and individuals that are tackling the difficult work of supporting individuals and families throughout our region so that all communities have an opportunity to flourish and thrive, we say THANK YOU!

- Steve Moore

Executive Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Alaska

  • Children and adults in Alaska will receive increased mental health support as Alaska Behavioral Health (formerly Anchorage Community Mental Health Services) expands and renovates its facility.
  • The expansion of Camp K by Camp Fire Alaska will increase its ability to serve youth and teens while also improving the camp’s infrastructure to reliably serve future campers for generations to come.
  • The Church of Love, a vibrant community gathering space, will be significantly renovated by Cook Inlet Housing Authority, increasing accessibility and strengthening the space to serve for generations to come.
  • New equipment purchased by University of Alaska Fairbanks will help researchers gain increased precision in their work to better understand oceanic ecosystem productivity.

Idaho

Montana

  • Patients with serious illnesses and their families will have increased access to housing following the construction of the new Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing space within the Great Falls medical corridor.
  • Reach Out and Care Wheels will add a new Executive Director, helping expand its efforts to provide wheelchairs to those in need.
  • New staff at Trust Montana will help steward properties and secure affordable housing and community assets for generations to come.

Oregon

  • Camp Ukandu will be able to offer more children diagnosed with cancer and their families a true summer camp experience through the introduction of new staff.
  • More girls will have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship as the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington add new staff.
  • In4All will hire new staff to help serve and support more students of color and students living in poverty.
  • Preteen and teen girls in Lane and Linn Counties struggling with trauma and behavioral health challenges will receive increased support as Ophelia’s Place adds staff.
  • New staff at St. Mary’s Home for Boys will help the organization help prepare young men to flourish and thrive after graduating high school.

Washington

  • Students will have access to new equipment and training programs following a grant to Black Pilots of America.
  • A new gymnasium built by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County will provide increased programming offerings for children and teens in Granite Falls.
  • Vulnerable, at-risk and underserved youth will receive increased support as the Center for Children and Youth Justice adds new staff.
  • New administrative technology will help College Success Foundation serve more underrepresented, low-income students as they seek to graduate high school, graduate from college and transition to a successful career.
  • New staff at the Feiro Marine Life Center will help accelerate plans to expand its work and programming.
  • Stolen Youth will add new staff, allowing the organization to increase its programs combatting human trafficking.
  • The Woodland Park Zoo will update and expand their highly popular Northern Trail exhibit, serving more children and families.

Pacific Northwest

  • Interfaith Youth Core will hire new staff to help bring a message of unity and collaboration to the Pacific Northwest.

About M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The Murdock Trust, created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five states of the Pacific Northwest—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington—that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways. Since its inception in 1975, the Trust has awarded more than 6,700 grants totaling more than $1 billion. For more information, find the Murdock Trust on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and on our website.

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