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State Patrol Recruiting Changes, Host a Japanese Student, More Briefs

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  • The Washington State Patrol is looking for future troopers and Trooper Chris Thorson says they are now changing requirements hoping to get more people through the recruitment process.

    Thorson tells KIT News, “The reason we made these changes is that we’re having a tough time finding recruits. We’ve only been able to hire about half as many as we need.”

    The State Patrol needs to do whatever it can to hire more troopers because more than 200 troopers and sergeants are currently eligible to retire in the next four years.

    Some of the biggest changes come to the standards for an applicant’s prior drug use. Tolerance for marijuana use was lowered to within the last year. And now a candidate can even admit to using drugs like cocaine or meth up to three years ago as long as they did not use more than five times.

  • The Yakima School district is looking for families who want to host an exchange student from Japan.

    The district is looking for families to host visiting Japanese students from April 11 through April 25. An opportunity is also available for area high school students to travel to Yokohama, Japan next summer.

    Applications for both are available at area high schools or for more information call 573-7007.

  • More than 40 Catholic churches in the Yakima Diocese are now raising funds for a christmas charity campaign.

    It is all part of a statewide fundraiser to help women going through an unplanned pregnancy.

    Monday, the church sent out a letter to thousands in the valley requesting donations. The church says this yearly fundraiser highlights the generosity of the Yakima community.

    The Yakima chapter hopes to raise more than $200,000 for the statewide campaign. catholic churches around the area will collect donations during Christmas mass.

  • A man arrested after a bomb threat and robbery at area stores was in court Monday. Ryan Tosto was charged with first degree robbery and making a false bomb threat.

    The incident happened on Nov. 17 after police say the 36-year-old Tosto called police and said a bomb was at area Safeways. Officers rushed to the stores and the Fred Meyer store and arrested Tosto.

    No explosives were found.

  • Two Central Washington University scientists have built their careers studying the ice that covers most of Antarctica and what lies beneath.

    The husband and wife team of Paul Winberry and Audrey Huerta landed a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation this fall to help build a network of seismometers to learn how ice moves and melts in polar regions.

    Winberry left last week for Antarctica. Huerta has spent eight seasons there herself, but remains in Ellensburg this season to teach.

  • A head-on crash at the intersection of Ahtanum Road and South 62nd Avenue last week has taken the life of a 89-year-old Yakima woman.

    State Patrol Troopers say 89-year-old Marilee Dow was driving her Buick Century westbound on Ahtanum Road in the eastbound lane just after 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. Her car collided head on with an eastbound Ford Bronco driven by 35-year-old Casey Ford of Yakima.

    Dow was taken to Harborview in Seattle where she died. Ford was injured and taken to a Yakima hospital.

    The cause is under investigation.

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