• A horse in Yakima County has been diagnosed with the West Nile Virus.

    Officials from the Department of Agriculture say the owner of a 7-year-old quarter horse gelding is monitoring the horse's progress for recovery. There is no effective treatment for the horse other than to be supportive.

    West Nile Virus is fatal to horses in about one-third of the cases where clinical signs are apparent.

    The owner says the horse had been recently pastured in Outlook and has no history of travel out of the area and has no vaccination history.

    The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Pullman reported the positive test results to the State Veterinarian's office on September 25.

    This is the only confirmed case of West Nile Virus in a Washington horse this year.

  • A 38-year-old Yakima woman described as a private investigator was charged in Yakima County Superior Court on Thursday after authorities say Stephanie Barnes intimated victims and witnesses of local homicide and assault cases.

    Barnes was charged with two counts of tampering with a witness, intimidating a witness and bribing a witness.

    Detective Sgt. Mike Russell with the Yakima County Sheriff's Office says Barnes was arrested at her Yakima home last Friday. She's being held on $2 million bail.

    Police say Barnes was a private investigator. Her business was named S&P Investigations and Consultants.

  • Union Gap has a plan to revitalize Main Street similar to Yakima's plans for Yakima Ave.

    The city has formed a redevelopment committee to make Main Street more appealing. And the city wants to create a theme.

    The new plan will redevelop the section of Main Street from Second Street to Franklin Street, paid for by a $4.8 million Federal grant.

    Committee organizer Dave Butler says, “We’re just now forming committees to get the input of the residents so they can get involved.”

    Union Gap City officials say they will hold several public meetings on what everyone wants to see in downtown Union Gap, similar to those held in Yakima for the downtown master plan.

  • No injuries were reported in a robbery in Toppenish Wednesday in which the suspect fired two shots at the store clerk.

    The robbery was reported at 2:00 p.m. at the Valley View Market along the 600 block of East Toppenish Avenue.

    Authorities say the man walked into the store pulled out a handgun demanded money and then fired the shots. The suspect grabbed the cash and ran from the store.

    Police describe the suspect as Hispanic in his late 20's or early 30's. He was wearing a black jacket with a hood and black pants. He also had a mustache.

    Anyone with information can call the Toppenish Police Department at 865-4355. No one was injured during the robbery.

  • Yakima School District Spokeswoman Mary Beth Wright says there is a lot of buzz in the community about the new school. She says many are hoping to tour the new facility.

    “So we’ve combined a dedication along with tours. We’ll have tours of the school before and after the dedication and the fun piece is that the tours will be lead by students.”

    The dedication ceremony for the more than 300,000 square foot school is set for October 10 at 5:00 p.m. tours are available at 3:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. the same day.

    The school is located at 611 South 44th Avenue.

  • The Yakima City Council in October will be talking about marijuana.City Manager Tony O'Rourke says the city will hold a study session on October 8 to decide whether or not to allow retail pot stores to open in the city.

    O'Rourke says currently any activity that is illegal in the State or against Federal law is banned in the city of Yakima. He says “marijuana is still illegal on the federal side so that would make it prohibited in Yakima. But that conflicts with the State initiative.”

    O'Rourke says the city council needs to decide if it is going to continue its’ current prohibition or accommodate the retail sale of marijuana as most cities in the state are doing.

    If the council decides to allow sales some special zoning will have to be created for the retails stores.

  • A Yakima house fire kept firefighters busy on Sunday night.They were called to the home in the 200 block of South Naches Avene at about 6:30 p.m. By the time they arrived the flames had consumed the home. Everyone was out of the home and no injuries were reported.

    Fire officials say the home that had been built in the 1940s had been converted into three separate apartments and 11 people lived in the home.

    The fire started on the first floor and spread throughout the structure. The construction made it difficult for firefighters to douse the flames.

    Damage is estimated at more than $100,000.

    The cause was accidental and is still under investigation.