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Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed several new mental health laws in recent days. The question is whether they will be funded.

Oregon could join a national movement to change the way the president is elected.

Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.

Tesoro Announces Rail Car Upgrades

May 19, 2015

Oil company Tesoro announced Monday it’s upgrading the fleet of tank cars it uses to carry crude oil by rail.

The company moves crude oil by train through the Pacific Northwest to its refinery in Anacortes, Washington.

Officials with the company said it will add 210 “enhanced” tank cars. According to Tesoro executives, the new tank cars exceed federal standards announced earlier this month.

John Ryan / KUOW

Seattle planning officials say the Arctic drill rig at the Port of Seattle has to leave or get a new permit by June 4. 

The city issued a notice of violation to the Port of Seattle, Shell Oil and Foss Maritime on Monday afternoon.

The notice says the port's permit is only good for cargo ships, not oil rigs like the Polar Pioneer.

The controversial Idaho bill dealing with foreign child support orders is moving ahead in the legislature, despite impassioned opposition on the House floor.

Maria Moses of Dockside Cannabis in Shoreline, Washington, shows off a jar where customers can smell a marijuana sample.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When recreational marijuana became legal in Washington state, people wondered what would happen to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gov. Jay Inslee answered that question in April, when he signed a law requiring they obtain licenses and join the state regulatory system.

But medical marijuana dispensary owners have more questions about emerging from the shadows, and they’re turning Robert McVay, an attorney with Seattle’s Canna Law Group.

Seattle's planning department is weighing whether to fine Shell, Foss, the local contractor, or the Port of Seattle -- or all three -- for bringing the oil rig to the city.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

City inspectors with the Department of Planning and Development paid a visit to Shell’s Polar Pioneer oil rig within 24 hours of its arrival in Seattle.

They had a look around the rig, parked at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5, for possible permit violations on Friday.

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Seattle Public Library is about to make the Internet as lendable as everything else in its collection.

It's the next step in the library's reinvention. A grant from Google means the Seattle Public Library will begin lending Wi-Fi hotspots to library patrons. By the summer it will also lend laptop computers packaged with wifi. 

Dan Miller was driving north along Interstate 5 through Southwest Washington when Mount St. Helens blew its top 35 years ago.

“As I passed the Richfield exit on I-5, it just happens that there’s a beautiful clear view off to the northeast to Mount St. Helens,” he said. “I looked over there and it was a beautiful, bright sunny morning.”

Miller is a retired geologist who studied volcanoes with the U.S. Geological Survey. He was on his way up Mount St. Helens on the morning of May 18, 1980. He planned to work on the volcano that day.

Troy Capps found deer antlers in central Oregon’s backcountry. Capps is a co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, a group that promotes ethical shed hunting. Credit: Courtney Flatt/EarthFix
EarthFix Photo/Courtney Flatt

REDMOND, Ore. -- Every year deer and elk shed their antlers, and every year people try to find them. 

The sport is called shed hunting, and it's often a family affair. But some people do more than just search for dropped antlers on the ground -- they chase elk and deer to stress them out, which often causes them to drop their antlers. 

How To Cook A Geoduck

May 18, 2015
Kevin Bartlett of Taylor Shellfish in Seattle shows David George Gordon, the bug chef, how to cook geoduck.
KCTS9/Aileen Imperial

Geoducks (that's pronounced gooey-duck) are a shellfish delicacy, fetching about $30 a pound here in Seattle. But how do you cook these curious creatures? Kevin Bartlett of Taylor Shellfish at Melrose Market in Seattle showed us how. 

Here's the video; we also provide a step-by-step guide with photos below. 

Oregon State Fish and Wildlife troopers James Hayes, left, and Darin Bean patrol several thousand square miles in Central Oregon, where mule deer are in decline.
EarthFix Photo/Tony Schick

LA PINE, Oregon – The doe wandered across the wrong property. What’s left of her was a blood stain in a bathtub.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Trooper Darin Bean found the remains in a house here in the high country. He had been searching for a man who had illegally shot a deer and had missed his court date.

Pinto abalone were near extinction by the end of the 1990s in Puget Sound. But with a little help from science, their wild populations are slowly rising.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

MUKILTEO, Wash. – In a dark fish tank at a government-run lab, a striking sea snail slowly inches from its hiding spot.

It’s a pinto abalone, and its numbers are dangerously low in Washington state after decades of overharvesting and poaching. This little-known animal is a delicacy, still served in U.S. restaurants, and its shell is a source of mother-of-pearl.

Inside Washington State’s Geoduck Auction

May 17, 2015
At this state geoduck auction, the winning bid was $333,000, which triggered a murmer of disbelief through the room.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Each year the Washington Department of Natural Resources auctions off permission to harvest geoduck (those long, rubber-necked shellfish) from certain areas throughout Puget Sound. The company with the highest bid earns the right to harvest a specific amount of geoduck at a set location during a defined time period.

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