Maybe it's the cloudy weather. Maybe it's that there is nothing to watch on TV and nothing is happening on talk radio outside of recycled "We said, They said." Maybe it's because we are tired of sitting behind campers the size of buses when caught in rush hour traffic. Whatever the reason, these stories caught our eye today.
"Bats are a reservoir species, so they do carry the rabies virus here in Washington state," explained Nicola Marsden-Haug, epidemiologist with the Washington State Department of Health.
Bat teeth are so small and sharp, their bites may not even be visible. A sleeping person might not even feel their teeth. (That is comforting to know. Not.)
Because their bites could go unnoticed, health officials want you to take precautions before it's too late. First off, never get close to or touch a bat because chances are if they're hanging out near people, they're sick. If you end up with a bat bite, clean the wound and then get to a doctor. Rabies is fatal, but it can be prevented with a series of shots. Think about this as you sit on your deck in the evening and watch the bats hunt for mosquitos.
Washington State Patrol troopers are cracking down on drivers and their passengers who throw cigarette butts and other burning stuff out of their cars.
Troopers have pulled over almost 1,000 cars for that violation in the last year. It's a big problem, especially during the summer.
"The weather's been good, the medians are drying up and we've already had several median fires this year and the big cause of that is from throwing out lit debris," said trooper Guy Gill.
Troopers are watching for people flicking cigarettes butts out of car windows and it's easy to spot, especially at night.
"You see the little burnt embers dashing across the freeway as someone throws a cigarette out and those are definitely capable of causing a fire in the median," said Gill. The fine for throwing lit debris out of a car is more than $1,000.
We think people who smoke are insane, but what rock does one have to live under not to realize this is fire danger season? We think the fine should be more. Maybe a million dollars. That would get their attention.
Security is tight at the Monroe Corrections Complex to keep 2,400 Washington state prisoners locked up, but it couldn't stop a bobcat from breaking in.
Officers on a perimeter fence check apparently startled the cat about 11:30 p.m. Monday, said Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis.
"And it ran the wrong direction," he said, "through the razor-wire."
The small, agile cat was able to make it through the fence that would trap a person. It suffered a few cuts in the process.
The fact that a bobcat can break in doesn't cause prison officials to worry that an inmate could break out of the state's second-largest prison, with five units ranging in security from minimum to maximum, Lewis said.
"If we had an inmate the same size of a bobcat with the same level of dexterity, then we're concerned," he said.