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80th Avenue closed this week

Beginning Thursday, 80th Avenue will be fully closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. between 284th and 288th streets while a new sewer main is installed. All other roads in the area are open and being used for detours. At night, the length of 80th Avenue will be open.

The road is expected to open in the evening on Jan. 20.The sewer main will serve the new Schmitt/Von Moos development on the northwest corner of 80th Avenue and 284th Street.

Homeless count won't happen in 2021

Both Snohomish and Island counties requested an exception from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and will not conduct the annual point-in-time count of unsheltered homeless persons because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington also issued a notice saying the count will not be required in 2021.

However, both counties will still partner with local human service providers to complete a count of all individuals who have shelter but are experiencing homelessness.

Last year in Snohomish County, 673 individuals reported they were unsheltered. Another 459 persons were without a permanent place to stay and were temporarily housed in an emergency shelter or transitional housing. In 2020, Island County reported 78 individuals unsheltered and 51 persons who were temporarily sheltered in emergency or transitional housing. The PIT Count is used to prioritize federal, state and local funding, and identify trends and craft solutions for addressing the needs of vulnerable individuals and families.

Sportmix pet food recalled

Midwestern Pet Food Inc. is voluntarily recalling several types of its Sportsmix brand dry dog foods for cats and dogs after 28 dogs died and eight others were sickened from possibly eating fatal levels of aflatoxin — a toxin produced by the molds which grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food.

The Food and Drug Administration said people should stop feeding pets the recalled food and contact a veterinarian if a pet has symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning, which may include sluggishness, vomiting and diarrhea.

The recall includes: Sportmix Energy Plus in 50 and 44 pound bags; Sportmix Premium High Energy in 50 and 44 pound bags; and Sportmix Original Cat in 31- and 15-pound bags. Retailers were instructed not to sell or donate the affected pet foods, which carry an expiration date of March 2 or 3, 2022. Recall information: tinyurl.com/sportsmix-recall

Weekly unemployment initial claims up sharply

From Dec. 27-Jan. 2, there were 29,651 initial regular unemployment claims, up 54.5% from the prior week. In total, there were 557,419 total jobless claims, up 12.1% from the prior week, according to the Employment Security Department.

Initial regular claims applications remain at elevated levels and are at 201% above last year’s weekly new claims applications, according to ESD.

In Snohomish County, initial regular claims filed increased from 1,823 to 2,946, up 61.6% from the prior week. In Island County, those claims filed increased from 138 to 201, up 45.7% from the prior week. 

Conservation Futures Program 2021 grant applications being accepted

The Snohomish County Conservation Futures Program Advisory Board announced that applications for open space projects are being accepted through 5 p.m. on Feb. 26 for potential funding assistance from the Snohomish County Conservation Futures Program. The Board anticipates application review at the March 2021 board meeting and recommendation to the Snohomish County Council in May 2021. Successful program funding is available on a reimbursement basis. It is anticipated that a maximum amount of $2 million to $3 million dollars may be available during this grant round for distribution to eligible organizations.

Information and applications: tinyurl.com/conservation-futures-grant 

People

Snohomish County Council selects leadership team for 2021

On Jan. 4, the Snohomish County Council unanimously selected District 3 council member Stephanie Wright to chair the council for 2021. Wright is in her third and final term on the council. She served as vice chair in 2020.

The council also selected District 2 council member Megan Dunn as vice chair of the council. Dunn is in her first term.

Nehring will seek re-election

Snohomish County council member Nate Nehring will seek a second term to represent District 1, which includes Stanwood, Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville and unincorporated areas of northern Snohomish County. Nehring, a Republican, was elected to his current four-year term in 2017. He previously served as vice chair of the Stanwood Planning Commission. 

Meetings

Island County Commissioners

Island County Commissioners meet on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Information: islandcountywa.gov/commissioners

Stanwood-Camano School Board

The Stanwood-Camano School Board will hold a regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, via Zoom. Information: stanwood.wednet.edu

Board members will hold three virtual “Coffee with the Board” events this month: 9-10 a.m. and noon-1 p.m. Jan. 27, and  6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Information: stanwood.wednet.edu

Stanwood Planning Commission

The city’s Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18 on Zoom. Information: stanwoodwa.org

Stanwood City Council

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14 on Zoom. Information: stanwoodwa.org

Pets

Meet Batman at CASA

Batman is a friendly cat with lots of personality who likes to sleep in laps and cuddle. He would prefer a quiet household with a calm atmosphere and no small children. Batman can be fearful of new faces but will do fine once he gains the trust of the people in his new forever home.

Appointments: 360-387-1902

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