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Washington’s gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.

Crabber Tom Petersen would rather have his crab pots on the floor of the Pacific, but a toxic algae bloom has prompted health officials to close the south Washington coast to commercial and recreational crabbing.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

TOKELAND, Wash. – Tom Petersen’s 50-foot crab boat sits idly in the Port of Willapa Harbor, a tiny coastal inlet 40 or so miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River.

On a normal day in early summer, Petersen would be selling Dungeness crab to canneries, big-city buyers and even fresh off the back of his boat to locals and tourists.

Thousands Of Hatchery Fish Die After Valve Clogs

Jun 29, 2015

About 400,000 baby fish died Sunday at a hatchery near Roseburg.

The entire run of pre-smolt spring Chinook that the Rock Creek Hatchery planned to release next year died when a clogged intake valve cut off their access to fresh water, said Greg Huchko with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Water flow was only interrupted for about an hour, but river temperatures are so high that the fish could not survive.

A stream of thousands of steelhead plop into Rock Lake. In this final leg of their journey they fall out of a tanker truck and into the lake. To get here the fish have traveled seven hours in tanker trucks from Puget Sound, over the Cascade Mountains, and into the Eastern Washington desert.

“This lake is real nice and deep, so it won’t take them long to find some lower depths and find some cooler water,” said Brian Russell, who is leading the team stocking Rock Lake.

More than 200 firefighters are working to contain the 4,600-acre Sugarloaf Fire in Central Oregon. The blaze is burning in grassland, juniper, and conifer forest, and was likely ignited by lightning. The wildfire is burning on both private and federal lands north of Dayville.

Part of the fire is within the John Day Fossil Beds. To protect the national monument, firefighters are working to hold the fire and let it burn out, rather than bringing in bulldozers or other heavy equipment.

Edith Macefield's Ballard home was surrounded by development .
flickr photo/Payton Chung (CC BY 2.0)

The story of Edith Macefield’s famous “UP!” House has taken another turn.

Paul Thomas, with Realty Brokers of Seattle, says the winners of an auction for the house this spring have backed out after it became apparent the building's age and condition would make it too expensive to fix. And that means the house will be donated and moved or demolished, and the land under it sold, Thomas said.

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget.

Overhaul Of Marijuana Taxation Goes To Washington Governor

Jun 29, 2015

Recreational marijuana buyers would pay a flat 37 percent pot tax, plus sales tax, under a proposal headed to the desk of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

(Photo courtesy of the University of Washington)

Update: Two days after this story was published, on Tuesday, June 30, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Washington’s state budget. The new budget includes $20 million over the next two years for drug prevention and education.

The campaign to legalize marijuana promised that almost a quarter of the taxes from those sales would fund education and prevention efforts.

And pot is selling well: Washington state’s marijuana retail stores are selling over $1 million worth of marijuana a day.

Only four Iraq veterans have received the Medal of Honor, and some service members say the Pentagon has become stingy in recognizing valor.

If you have plans to visit a Washington State Park over the Fourth of July, Washington Gov. Inslee has a message for you.

“You’ll be able to go that park next weekend,” Inslee said. “I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe it was going to happen.”

July 1 will be a big day in Oregon for adults who like to use marijuana. That's when the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational pot takes effect.

Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage reflects a remarkable shift in Americans' personal views, just in the last decade.

About 100,000 acres of federal land in southwest Oregon would be off-limits to new mining claims under a proposal expected Monday.

The area is in Josephine and Curry counties near the Chetco River. Conservation groups have been trying to protect the area from nickel mining and other types of mineral extraction.

The Bureau of Land Management has the power to stop new mining development for up to 20 years through a process called “land withdrawal.”

It’s been a one-two punch of low snowpack last winter and not enough rain this spring for many Northwest rivers. Warm temperatures and low river flows are causing problems for salmon making the return migration.

In rivers and streams across the Northwest, waters are reaching a tipping point for salmon. Salmon like water temperatures to be 68 degrees. Officials say water temperatures in June are what is normally expected in late August.

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