• Yakima police say a focus on creating a more secure downtown this past summer has resulted in some measurable results.

    Chief Dominic Rizzi says bike patrols in the downtown area that started back in early June helped many people feel safe and they also helped to prevent crime.

    Last year the downtown area saw 19 burglaries and Rizzi says, “so far this year we’ve had nine so we’ve seen a big improvement.” In 2012 the downtown area also saw 24 robberies but so far this year the number is sitting at four.

    Rizzi says he is hoping the trends continue next summer when the bike patrols will be back in the downtown area.

  • It was a very cold weekend in Yakima but homeless people had a place to stay after two cold weather shelters opened on Friday.

    The shelters opened at the Unitarian Universalist Church and First Baptist Church after city officials and members of the Yakima Homeless Network worked out a compromise to keep the shelters fire safe.

    The third shelter at Englewood Christian Church will open on Dec. 1. It is holding an open house tomorrow from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 511 N 44th Ave.

    Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke says the temporary shelters are OK this year but next year a permanent location needs to be found in the downtown area.