News

License Plate Profiling
4:09 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Does Legalized Marijuana Put Washington Drivers At Risk Out Of State?

File photo. At least two Washington drivers say they were pulled over in Idaho on suspicion of using marijuana.
Ildar Sagdejev Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:41 pm

Some drivers from Washington and Colorado say they're being targeted by police when they cross into Idaho.

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EarthFix Reports
4:06 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Researchers Find Pocket Of Air Pollution In Central Washington

Researchers have found the source of an unusual pocket of air pollution in Central Washington. Tiny particles from large agricultural operations mix with vehicle exhaust. That creates nitrate pollution.
Flickr Creative Commons: Henry Alva

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:57 pm

Nitrate air pollution is higher in the Yakima Valley than many other places in Washington. The state Department of Ecology noticed the pocket of unusually high amounts of nitrate air pollution and commissioned researchers at Washington State University and Central Washington University to determine its source.

These fine particulates are so tiny that you can't see them, but if you breathe them in at high concentrations, they can cause heart and respiratory problems.

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Environment
4:05 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Washington's Wildfire Season Officially Starts Tuesday

File photo. Wildfire season officially starts on April 15 in Washington state
InciWeb

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 5:35 pm

Wildfire season officially starts on April 15 in Washington state. Oregon and Idaho have rolling starts to fire precaution rules depending on local conditions.

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Shooting
3:57 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'This Was A Hate Crime,' Police Say Of Kansas City-Area Killings

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is accused of killing three people Sunday in Kansas City. He allegedly attacked them at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement facility.
Johnson County, Kan., Sheriff's Office

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:38 pm

(This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.)

The man who shot and killed three people Sunday near Kansas City will face federal hate crime charges for the attacks at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home, authorities said Monday.

"This was a hate crime," Overland Park, Kan., Police Chief John Douglass told reporters at a midday news conference.

Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Glenn Miller, is already in jail. The 73-year-old man was taken into custody shortly after the attacks and is accused of premeditated murder.

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Transportation
8:07 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Oregon, Washington Consider Alternative To Amtrak For Cascades Rail Service

The Amtrak logo could be gone from Cascades corridor trains in the future.
WSDOT Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 4:37 pm

Oregon and Washington might turn to a private company to operate its Cascades rail service.

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Environment
8:06 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Water Supply Rebounds Across Most of Northwest After March Storms

On this map of current snow conditions, blues and greens are good. Red, orange and yellow represent below average snowpack.
Northwest River Forecast Center

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 2:58 pm

Irrigators, hydropower dam operators and tugboat captains are sitting pretty across most of the Northwest according to the latest regional water supply forecast.

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EarthFix Reports
8:05 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Saving The Greater Sage Grouse

The West’s greater sage grouse are in trouble. They make their homes in desert sagebrush country. As their habitat shrinks, sage grouse numbers dwindle. Biologists are working to boost the birds' numbers.
Courtesy of Vince Patton, Oregon Field Guide

It’s early in the morning, hours before sunrise. An old pickup truck turns down a dirt road at Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in Eastern Washington, about 90 minutes west of Spokane.

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EarthFix Reports
8:04 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Propane And Butane Export Terminal Proposed For Longview, Wash.

Natural gas flares from a flare-head at the Orvis State well on the Evanson family farm in McKenzie County.
Tim Evanson / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/23165290@N00/9290351154/in/photolist-f9XtJb-f9Xtn3-f9HdQe-f9XtBQ-f9HdVH-f9WcRY-f9HeKc-f9Hecp-f9Xujo-f9HdZk-f9XsYw-fbdE6G-f9XtNu-f9Hf5D-f9Hfdx-f9Hfrg-f9HfkR-f9HdED-f9Vdzb-

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 12:49 pm

Nearly 30 percent of the gas released during crude oil production in the Bakken oil fields is flared off – burned into the air and essentially wasted.

This week, a Houston-based company proposed building a terminal in Longview, Wash. that would collect some of those gases and export them.

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EarthFix Reports
8:02 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Oregon Wave Energy Project Sinks

More than 100 energy buoys like this were planned to be deployed in Pacific Ocean near Reedsport, Ore. After canceling the larger of two phases of the project in March, the company behind the endeavor has now dropped the entire venture.
Ocean Power Technologies

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:15 pm

Plans to deploy Oregon’s first commercial wave energy project have been formally dropped by the company.

After spending millions on the project off the coast of Reedsport, Ore., Ocean Power Technologies pulled the plug and will focus on another project in Australia.

Kevin Watkins, a company representative, said this would have actually been the first such project in the Western Hemisphere — but they had trouble securing adequate funds.

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Education Reform
7:30 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Is Common Core A Good Fit For Kindergarten?

Marissa Zellers reads a new Common Core-aligned text with her kindergarten students at Albert Einstein Elementary School in Redmond, Wash.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

As school districts across Washington integrate the new Common Core State Standards in reading and math into their curricula, some kindergarten teachers say the standards are squeezing out other important lessons that young children need to succeed in school – and life.

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Troubled Reform Rollout
4:25 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 4:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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Wanapum Dam
8:17 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Keeping Bones, Cultural Artifacts Safe In Central Washington Is Proving Costly

File photo. Sheriff's deputies, Grant County employees and state Fish and Wildlife officers are patrolling 80 miles of Columbia River shore.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 4:07 pm

The drawdown of water behind Wanapum Dam in central Washington is exposing dozens of human gravesites and hundreds of Native American cultural artifacts.

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Fishing Season
8:14 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Banner Summer On Tap For Ocean Salmon Fishing

File photo. Fisheries managers are expecting a banner year for ocean salmon fishing.
Michael B Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:23 pm

A federal fisheries management panel has approved what some charter captains are calling the best ocean fishing season in 20 years.

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Affordable Care Act
7:46 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Reform May Free People From 'Job Lock'

Christine Lange quit her job earlier this year to pursue her dream to start a small business. She said the Affordable Care Act made that possible.
Credit Courtesy of Christine Lange

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to give access to people who currently don’t have health insurance.

Supporters see another benefit — to give people who dream of quitting their day jobs for a chance to become an entrepreneur.

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EarthFix Reports
7:12 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Federal Government Blazes Ahead On Comprehensive Fire Management Plan

Wildfire seasons in many parts of Oregon and the rest of the West are getting hotter and longer.

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 3:45 pm

A new national strategy for preventing and fighting wildfires has been announced by the federal government in response to increasingly costly firefighting seasons in the West.

Rather than waiting to address wildfires until after they ignite, the new strategy emphasizes restoring forests and rangelands while stabilizing funding.

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