Chehalis

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy.

These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, internal state documents question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

A blast and fire at a natural-gas fired power plant in Chehalis was caused by a transformer explosion. No one was injured, according to a plant spokeswoman.

Jan Mitchell says the PacifiCorp-owned facility’s damage is limited to a large transformer on the edge of the property. 

The fire did not involve the plant itself or natural gas.