State seeks rail proposals for Royal City line

— The state State Department of Transportation is looking for a freight rail operator to provide services to businesses in Grant and Adams Counties.

Transportation officials released a request for proposals today asking interested businesses to submit proposals by noon March, 19.

“This section of track has been out of service for the last 16 years,” said Alan Schrom, Commissioner for the Port of Royal Slope. “But, we’re back in business thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Washington State Legislature.”

Along with operating and maintaining 26-miles of track between Othello and Royal City, the operator will be required to design an economic development plan for competitive rail services.

The freight rail line is expected to resume service in May.

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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge

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