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Head Of Washington State Prisons Resigns

3 hours ago

Washington Secretary of Corrections Dan Pacholke has resigned his position after less than four months in the job.

His unexpected announcement Saturday came just one day after the Republican-led Washington Senate voted not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson resulting in her immediate departure from that agency. 

The Republican leader of the Washington Senate said he regrets using the word “racist” to describe ousted Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson.

Americans have about $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. And there's yet another survey out that shows students in this country are confused about their loans, in the dark when it comes to knowing what they've borrowed, uncertain about how to pay them back.

A plan to hike Oregon's minimum wage is moving forward in the Oregon Legislature. A measure cleared a committee Friday and is headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

The fastest land mammal in North America is again running free in north central Washington after a long absence. In late January, the Colville Tribes relocated 52 pronghorn antelope onto their reservation as part of a reintroduction effort.

Republicans listed other problems with transportation in the state since Peterson took the job: Tolling on 520 across Lake Washington, Bertha, the enormous boring tunnel in Seattle that has failed to move forward, and ferries breaking down.
Associated Press Pool Photo/Joshua Trujillo/Seattlepi.com

A coup went down in Olympia this afternoon.

Surprising Democrats, Republican lawmakers called for a confirmation vote for Lynn Peterson, Secretary of Transportation for Washington state. In a party line vote of 25 to 21, they fired her.

In December, Congress adjourned without passing legislation to ratify a trio of agreements meant to end the long-standing water wars in the Klamath Basin. This essentially killed the deal, which was arrived at through years of painstaking negotiations between farmers, ranchers, tribes and other groups.

Now, there’s a move to demolish four dams on the Klamath River through a separate regulatory process, bypassing the need for Congressional approval. This unexpected turn could shape the ongoing Klamath saga.

Oregon conservation groups say volunteers are lining up to help reverse damage done to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the ongoing occupation.

At the end of January, the Oregon Natural Desert Association put out a call for volunteers interested in doing environmental restoration at the refuge after the occupation is over. In just a week, more than 600 people from all over the Northwest have signed up.

According to the Washington Department of Licensing, 380,000 drivers have suspended licenses. Many of them are low-income and lost their license because they failed to pay traffic tickets. They often have unpaid tickets from several jurisdictions and they’re likely to drive even without a license.

Magnolia Elementary School has been boarded-up for more than a decade, and would reopen if voters approve Seattle Schools' Feb. 9 capital levy.
Seattle Public Schools

Magnolia Elementary School is a big, brick building that opened in 1927. This historic landmark has been boarded up for 12 years.

"Be careful of the water here; I don't want you to slip and fall," said Jeanette Imanishi, a construction project manager for Seattle Public Schools. She suspects a leaky roof is responsible for the giant puddle in this hallway.

The homeless encampment known as the Jungle was he scene of a Jan. 26, 2016 shooting that killed two and wounded three.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Charges were filed Thursday in Seattle against three teenage brothers for the shootings in the homeless encampment known as the Jungle. The two older siblings will be tried as adults for first-degree murder and assault. Their younger brother will face the same charges in juvenile court.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a "loophole" in the state's criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn't completed by the end of the next business day.

A glass facility in Southeast Portland has suspended the use of cadmium and arsenic in its operations after testing found unhealthy levels of those metals in the air nearby.

Oregon health officials are warning of unhealthy levels of heavy metals in Southeast Portland's air. They found high levels of cadmium and arsenic at a monitoring station near SE Powell Boulevard and SE 22nd Avenue.

About 20 people stood vigil to mark two recent deaths at a homeless camp in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A silent vigil Wednesday in downtown Seattle marked the deaths of Jeannine Zapata and James Tran. The two were fatally shot last week at a homeless encampment known as the Jungle.  

Since the year 2000, the local group Women in Black has organized similar vigils since for homeless people who die outside or due to violence. Group leaders say they held vigils for 66 homeless people in 2015, the highest death count since the group started. 

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