News Minute: Here is the latest Washington news from The Associa - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

News Minute: Here is the latest Washington news from The Associated Press at 3:40 a.m. PST

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A year of upheaval at the U.S. Interior Department has seen dozens of staff members reassigned, rules governing industry shelved and complaints its leaders are ignoring public input. The evolving status quo at the agency has met with praise from energy and mining companies and congressional Republicans. Others say the changes have curbed outside input and elevated corporate desires above the government's duty to safeguard public lands and resources.

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A billion-dollar project that will allow animals to travel unimpeded over Washington state's busiest interstate is now visible to westbound I-90 travelers. The Spokesman-Review reports the construction, which is scheduled to finish in fall 2019, will connect two important habitats in the Price Creek area near mile marker 62. Larger animals, like elk, don't like traveling underground. The overpass is designed to give the easiest and most natural path forward.

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say a Washington woman suffered severe burns after gasoline fumes ignited when gas was being pumped into a garbage can in a car's backseat. KOMO-TV reports the Grant County Sheriff's Office says the woman, who was a passenger early Saturday morning at a Cascade Valley Grocery convenience store, was smoking a cigarette, which ignited the flames. The male driver who was pumping the gas ran away.

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) - Two men are going to prison and must pay $17,533 in restitution after pleading guilty to cutting down a tree in Olympic National Park. The Olympian reports Michael Welches and Matthew Hutto reportedly entered the park at night wearing headlamps in 2013 and cut down a big leaf maple tree.

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