By Peninsula Daily News staff and
The Associated Press
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
PORT ANGELES — Most offices in the Clallam County Courthouse will be closed today (Monday, July 15) for a furlough day.
The only exceptions to the closure are the courts and the jail.
Offices on the main floor of the Clallam County Courthouse at 223 E. Fourth St. will be closed.
Sheriff's deputies will be on regular patrols, but the sheriff's administrative office will be closed.
The county implemented 16 unpaid-leave days to help balance the 2013 budget.
All of the furlough days are Mondays.
The remaining furlough days for this year are July 22, Aug. 26, Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Nov. 18, Dec. 23 and Dec. 30.
Showcase of poets
PORT TOWNSEND — A free showcase of poets from the Centrum Port Townsend Writers' Conference is set for Wednesday night (July 17) at the Northwind Arts Center, 2409 Jefferson St.
Ten writers participating in the annual conference will offer their work beginning at 7 p.m.
New York Times reporter and novelist Kristen Young is curator of the readings.
To find out more about other free readings and lectures during the conference, visit http://Centrum.org and click on the “Writing” link.
For information about the Northwind Reading Series of free events, phone Bill Mawhinney at 360-437-9081.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A government report finds that hiking trails on national forests suffer from a $314 million backlog in maintenance.
The Government Accountability Office report found that only a quarter of the national forest system's 158,000 miles of trails meet quality standards, so people use them less, and the environment is damaged.
It adds that the U.S. Forest Service relies heavily on volunteers to maintain trails but does not train its staff to work effectively with them.
Jim Furnish is a retired Forest Service deputy chief for the forest system. He said the problem goes back decades and results from the Forest Service and Congress making recreation a low priority.
Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said the agency agrees with the findings and will look for ways to close the funding gap.
SEATTLE — The Center for Biological Diversity said it intends to sue the National Marine Fisheries Service for missing a deadline to designate protected habitat for endangered Puget Sound rockfish.
It's been three years since they were listed.
A lawyer for the group in San Francisco, Catherine Kilduff, said some rockfish can live to be 100 years old, and losing them would be like clear-cutting an old-growth forest.
Fisheries Service spokesman Brian Gorman in Seattle said the agency likely will complete the designation within 60 days, before a lawsuit would be filed.
Gorman said the designation will have little practical effect because it would overlay existing protections in Puget Sound for chinook salmon and killer whales.
The designation serves as a red flag to federal agencies.
SEATTLE — The University of Washington has paid $15.2 million in a medical malpractice judgment after a mistake caused a girl debilitating brain damage.
The Seattle Times reported that the sum paid Friday is one of the largest settlements in state history.
The settlement stems from the case of MacKenzie Briant, who five years ago was being treated for a heart defect at Seattle Children's hospital.
After she got a cold, her mother consulted with doctors who had treated her, but miscommunication between two cardiologists led them to prescribe a nasal spray that blocked MacKenzie's breathing.
The prolonged lack of oxygen caused brain damage, and she will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.