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Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 1:00 p.m.

Witnesses and survivors recounted a horrific scene following a massacre at two villages in Kandahar Province March 11 that killed 16 civilians and wounded six. They testified via a live video link from Afghanistan during a pretrial hearing for Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Northwest News Network

Republican Rob McKenna was leading in 31 of 39 Washington counties. But it was not enough. Friday night he conceded defeat in the race for governor to Democrat Jay Inslee. McKenna called Inslee after the latest vote tally showed the race narrowing, but not fast enough to reverse the Democrat’s lead. Later, McKenna posted a video to Facebook.

McKenna Concedes Wash. Governor’s Race

Nov 10, 2012

Former Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee has declared victory in Washington’s tight contest for governor. The announcement came Friday night shortly after Republican Rob McKenna conceded the race.

Veterans for Peace members celebrate
Amy Radil

US District Chief Judge Marsha Pechman said Veterans for Peace must be allowed to march in the Auburn Veterans Day parade Saturday. She called Auburn’s policy a textbook violation of the First Amendment.

The city of Auburn’s Veterans Day parade is one of the largest in the country. It started during the Vietnam War. The group Veterans for Peace started marching in the parade during the Iraq war. They hold signs saying “bring the troops home.”

Pre-trial hearings continue this evening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. He’s accused of massacring 16 civilians in Afghanistan, including nine children. Prosecutors say he left his base last March and went on an overnight five-hour killing spree.

The hearings will determine whether the case will advance to court-martial, where the government has said it plans to seek the death penalty. KUOW’s Sara Lerner spoke with Patricia Murphy, who’s covering the hearings.

Pretrial hearings for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales continue tonight when Afghan villagers and soldiers are expected to testify by video. The hearings are expected to run into the early morning hours US time.

1st District Republican candidate John Koster
Deborah Wang

The battle for Jay Inslee’s old seat in Congress now appears to be over.

Republican John Koster sent a letter to supporters Thursday night informing them that he plans to officially concede the race today.

Gay rights groups are hoping Oregon will be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot. Washington did that this week. But to follow suit, Oregon voters would have to reverse themselves and repeal a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Voters passed that ban in 2004 after a campaign led by the conservative Oregon Family Council. Spokeswoman Teresa Harke says her group will oppose any efforts to overturn it.

"I think there are still a lot of people who support one man, one woman marriage. And we are ready to fight for that."

Growing Latino Electorate Reflected In Candidates

Nov 9, 2012

Exit polls show Latino voters helped push President Obama to victory on Tuesday. But there was another sign of the growing influence of Hispanics on election day: That was the actual names on many ballots.

A public radio analysis done before the election found that just 2 percent of the Northwest's elected officials were Latino.

Oregon may have nudged that up. Voters in the Portland area elected Jessica Vega Pederson and Joseph Gallegos, both Democrats, to the state House.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Secretary Steven Chu is bolstering the scientific brain power at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. A memo released to employees Thursday says the aim is to solve nagging technical problems at the plant more quickly.

The massive factory at Hanford is supposed to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. That goo is currently in leaking, aging underground tanks near the Columbia River.

Felicitas Flores and her daughter Claudia
Liz Jones / KUOW

Immigrants and advocates rallied in Seattle today to highlight their priority for the President Obama’s second term:  comprehensive immigration reform.

Suzan DelBene
Amy Radil

At a post-election lunch for politicians and labor leaders, Democrats were savoring their victories, but also contemplating the tough choices awaiting progressives in Congress this month.

Catrena Hampton / KUOW

Supporters of same-sex marriage in Washington are celebrating victory. The campaign to approve Referendum 74, Washington United for Marriage, says it's now confident their four-point lead will hold.

Seattle Public Schools will ask voters for property tax levies worth $1.2 billion in February. The school board unanimously approved renewals of the capital projects and operations levies Wednesday night. 

Senator Maria Cantwell waving at a campaign rally.
KUOW/Deborah Wang

As the vote count continues, Washington Republicans are preparing for possible losses in several key state races.

Democratic attorney general hopeful Bob Ferguson leads Republican Reagan Dunn. The two are vying for the seat left open by Republican Rob McKenna, who stepped down to run for governor. McKenna has held the office since 2005.

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