Washington state trooper killed in avalanche while snowmobiling

first_imgWashington State Patrol/FacebookBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(KITITAS COUNTY, Wa.) — A Washington state trooper was killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling, authorities said.Trooper Steve Houle, 51, a nearly 30-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, died Monday, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office.Houle was snowmobiling with a friend in French Cabin Creek, north of Cle Elum in central Washington, when the avalanche occurred shortly before 1 p.m. local time, the sheriff’s office said.Both men were caught in the snow. The companion was able to dig himself out but was unable to find Houle, authorities said. The friend went to get help, and Kittitas County Search and Rescue crews were able to locate Houle’s body several hours later, around 7 p.m. He was found deceased, authorities said.According to a preliminary report by the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, the men were riding motorized snow bikes when they were caught in a “very large” avalanche. The friend was partially buried, while Houle was fully buried in the snow, it said.“On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Trooper Houle’s family, friends and the Washington State Patrol,” Sheriff Clayton Myers said in a statement. “This is a tragic accident and will be felt hard in our close-knit law enforcement community.”Houle, of Cle Elum, served for over 28 years in the state patrol’s commercial vehicle division in Kittitas County.“Steve was a great person and an excellent employee, loved and respected by us all,” Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement. “We hold his memory and his family close to our hearts in this painfully sad time.”His colleagues also reacted to news of his sudden passing.“Our hearts are broken tonight as we mourn the loss of a great trooper,” Washington State Patrol District 1 spokesperson Trooper Ryan Burke tweeted Monday. “Rest easy brother, you will be missed.”Houle was the 22nd person in the U.S. — and first in Washington state — to die in an avalanche so far this winter season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.Last week, the Northwest Avalanche Center said there had been “numerous avalanche involvements and near-misses” recently in the Pacific Northwest, and warned that “many of our zones will likely see high avalanche danger with uniquely unstable snowpack conditions” over the weekend.As of Tuesday, there is considerable avalanche danger for the central Washington region, according to the center.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Labour makes fats, salts and sugar pledge

first_imgShadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham will announce that Labour would set a limit on fats, salt and sugar in food marketed to children, should they be elected.In a speech given on 15 January, Burnham will criticise the government’s approach to industry, and emphasise the need for action to protect children and obesity.Labour’s changes would feature strict rules on food labelling, including a clearer traffic light system.In a statement on the Labour website, the party said: “Figures show that unless firm action is taken to halt the rise in obesity and diabetes, the cost of diabetes to the NHS will rise from £10 billion to £17bn a year by 2035.”The Conservatives said “real progress” had been made on public health under the current government.A Conservative spokesman said: “Labour is naive to think that just banning particular types of food will support people to make informed choices. The public deserve better.”What the industry saysCampaign group Action on Sugar has called this issue a government priority. Katharine Jenner, campaign director for Action on Sugar, said: “One of the greatest failures in tackling Britain’s obesity epidemic is the current government’s appeasement of the food industry; we cannot allow this to go on any longer.“The so called ‘Responsibility Deal’, which allows the food industry to regulate themselves (likened to ‘Dracula being put in control of the blood bank’), has clearly failed. It’s time for it to be scrapped. Introducing maximum limits on products containing sugar, salt and fat marketed to vulnerable children should be a government priority.”Gordon Polson, Director of the Federation of Bakers said: “I think that what labour is suggesting is something we already do. Bread is low in fat, low in sugar and low in salt, and all the information about ingredients is something we provide anyway, and that is what we will continue to do.”last_img read more

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