Communities Receive State Medals for Oso Mudslide Response - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Communities Receive State Medals for Oso Mudslide Response

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 OLYMPIA, WA. (AP) - Washington state's Medal of Valor has been awarded to Oso and surrounding communities for their work responding to last year's mudslide that killed 43 people.

At a Wednesday morning joint session of the state Senate and House, representatives of Oso, Darrington, Arlington and the Sauk-Suiattle tribe received the state honor, which is awarded for lifesaving effort at risk of personal safety. A law change this year enabled the award to be given to entire communities for their collective work.

A packed audience in the House gallery watched Gov. Jay Inslee award the medals. At the same event, the state Medal of Merit was awarded to Harmony Hill Retreat Center founder Gretchen Schodde and the late tribal leader and environmentalist Billy Frank Jr.

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