KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Hydroplanes are back, Amazon finalizing purchase of iRobot

Aug 5, 2022, 5:20 PM

(Photo courtesy of SeaFair)...

(Photo courtesy of SeaFair)

(Photo courtesy of SeaFair)

Deadly disease found in a few local rabbits

Rabbit owners are being warned about a fatal disease found in our state for the second time this year.

The Department of Agriculture says rabbit hemorrhagic disease has been confirmed in two rabbits that lived in a Thurston County home.

Oregon found cases in two counties last week.

Vaccinations and other precautions are being recommended.

Amazon close to finalizing purchase of Roomba Company

Amazon on Friday announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for approximately $1.7 billion.

It’s a move that will allow Amazon to scoop up another company to add to its collection of smart home appliances amid broader concerns about its market power. iRobot sells its products worldwide and is most famous for the circular-shaped Roomba vacuum.

Amazon says it will acquire the company for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will include iRobot’s net debt. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators. Upon completion, iRobot’s CEO, Colin Angle, will remain in his position.

Some privacy and business groups are calling on regulators to block the sale, saying it would give Amazon too much control of the smart home market.

Amazon owns the Ring security system and sells robotic home assistants like Alexa.

Firefighter staffing not a concern as fire season hits WA

As the wildfire season gets going, the state says it has not lost any significant numbers of firefighters to the vaccine mandate.

If the wildfire season turns particularly bad, the state could also make use of firefighters from Canada or the National Guard, but the department hasn’t reached that point yet.

With 1,168 firefighters employed at the Department of Natural Resources this season, the department says it is actually up in staffing from last year.

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz says the state has also brought in contracted firefighters from other parts of the country.

Franz says the state is fully staffed with some to spare and have even been able to send firefighters to other states to help with their wildfires.

SeaFair brings back hydroplanes after Blue Angels took flight

After three years of no hydroplane races, the thunder is back on the Lake Washington.

Racing fans are excited that the boats are back. Qualifying continues tomorrow with the finals for the Homestreet Bank Cup on Sunday.

The Bank Cup — created in 1950 — is an integral part of the Seafair Weekend Festival.

Lake Washington is the third oldest H1 Unlimited race site.

This year, SeaFair is celebrating 70 years of hydroplane racing with multiple classes of boats.

Listen to KIRO Newsradio on 97.3 FM. Stream it live here.

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KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Hydroplanes are back, Amazon finalizing purchase of iRobot