Snoqualmie, Wash., to residents: bear-proof your trash - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Snoqualmie, Wash., to residents: bear-proof your trash

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Snoqualmie, Washington, residents are being told to bear-proof their trash cans - or face the consequences. Snoqualmie, Washington, residents are being told to bear-proof their trash cans - or face the consequences.
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. -

Snoqualmie, Washington, residents are being told to bear-proof their trash cans - or face the consequences.

KIRO-TV reports the City Council has passed an ordinance that would cite homeowners with a misdemeanor if they repeatedly allow black bears in their garbage. First would come a warning, then a $125 ticket before residents could be cited for a misdemeanor.

Police Chief Steve McCulley says the goal is to reduce bear interactions with people.

He estimates there have been nearly 300 such complaints in the past four years.

Resident Shandi Hill says she got a locking mechanism for her trash can in the community about 30 miles east of Seattle.

McCulley says fines and criminal charges have worked for other cities with bear problems.

He notes that in addition to the safety risk to homeowners, at least two officers respond to a bear call - one with a beanbag gun and another with a rifle. That takes police away from more important matters.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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