News

Wildfires
6:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Wildfires Force Evacuation Of Towns, Hospital In Washington State

Smoke and flames rise from the Chiwaukum Creek Fire near Leavenworth, Wash., Thursday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:49 pm

This post was updated at 6:30 p.m. ET:

The small town of Pateros in north central Washington has emptied out as wildfires burning in the area destroyed as many as 100 homes.

The roughly 650 residents of Pateros — as well as a nearby hospital — were evacuated late Thursday.

Gov. Jay Inslee said the fire had grown to 168,000 acres by midday Friday.

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Seattle WTO
2:03 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Border Agency Chief Opens Up About Deadly Force Cases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske sits under an image of New York's Ground Zero in his office in Washington. For him, it serves as a daily reminder of the security threats that have shaped his agency.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 1:18 pm

The new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he is reviewing scores of incidents in which agents have used deadly force.

R. Gil Kerlikowske made that statement during an exclusive interview with NPR's Morning Edition. It was his first extended conversation about controversial incidents in which the Border Patrol has killed civilians without apparent accountability. (Click here for a full transcript of the interview.)

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EarthFix Reports
7:42 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Ag Secretary In Oregon To Tout Conservation Partnerships

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in Portland Thursday. He was in the Northwest to tout a new conservation program.
Alexi Horowitz

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:04 pm

PORTLAND -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met Thursday with Oregon conservation leaders to discuss a new effort to get farmers and conservation groups working together.

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program was created by the Farm Bill that passed this year in Congress. Lawmakers set aside $1.2 billion for the program. Partnerships around the country are competing for a share of the money for initiatives that protect soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat.

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August Primary
7:42 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington's Mid-Term Elections Draw In More Than Nearly $33M So Far

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Washington’s August primary is less than a month away -- August 5. It’s a mid-term election year with no statewide offices on the ballot. Even so, already nearly $33 million have been contributed to campaigns.

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Guns
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Sides With Boyfriend In School Backpack Shooting

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:49 pm

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday a Washington man whose loaded gun went off in a school backpack critically injuring a student can’t be charged with third-degree assault.

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Nuclear Energy
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Hanford Workers Say They’re Not Satisfied With Working Conditions At Tank Farms

Dozens of workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation gathered for public meeting organized watchdog group Hanford Challenge.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:16 am

Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who are worried about getting sick turned out in droves for a public meeting Wednesday night in Richland organized by a Seattle-area watchdog called Hanford Challenge.

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Wildfires
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Northwest Crews Continue To Battle Many Large Fires

A view of the Bridge 99 Complex fire along Green Ridge near the Lookout and east of Camp Sherman and the Metolius River.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:17 pm

The next few days will be critical for crews battling more than a dozen wildfires in the Northwest. Forecasters have issued a Red Flag Warning for a large swath of eastern Oregon and Washington.

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Taliban Swap
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Bergdahl's Attorney Expects Army Questioning To Begin Soon

File photo of Bowe Bergdahl at his graduation from U.S. Basic Training.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 4:07 pm

The attorney for rescued POW Bowe Bergdahl expects the Army sergeant to be interviewed by military investigators within the coming weeks.

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Climate Change
7:41 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Endangered Species Listing For Wolverine Looking Doubtful

File photo of a wolverine

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:22 pm

A federal threatened species listing for the wolverine is looking increasingly unlikely.

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Emergency Declarations
8:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Wildfires Blaze Their Way Across The Northwest

US Highway 26 near Mitchell, Oregon has been closed much of this week due to a wildfire.

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:53 am

As wildfires continue to blaze around the Northwest, both Oregon and Washington have issued emergency declarations for fire-ravaged portions of their state. Affected are 20 of Washington's eastern counties and central Oregon, where most of the state's 13 active fires are burning.

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Economic Recovery
8:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Washington Jobless Rate At 6-Year Low, But Rural Counties Lag

King County is leading the job recovery in Washington state.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:41 pm

According to the June jobs report released Wednesday, Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to 5.8 percent -- the lowest level in six years.

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EarthFix Reports
7:59 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Oregon Nickel Mine Proposal Runs Into Stiff Opposition

North Fork of the Smith River, near Hiouchi, California.
PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:52 am

ASHLAND, Ore. -- A Britain-based company is making preliminary moves that could lead to a 4,000-acre open-pit nickel mine being established in the headwaters of the Smith and Illinois Rivers in southwest Oregon.

The firm says it’s at the beginning of a long process of evaluating whether such a mine would even pencil out. But opponents in Oregon and California are taking no chances. They’re going all-out to kill it in the cradle.

Barbara Ullian minces no words.

“The best time to stop a mine is before it starts,” she says.

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Tech
7:18 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Layoffs Could Make Seattle Hub Of Cloud And Mobile Tech

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Credit Courtesy of Microsoft

KUOW's Bill Radke speaks with GeekWire's Todd Bishop about Microsoft's layoffs announcement.

KUOW's Bill Radke speaks with Nick Wingfield of The New York Times about Microsoft layoffs.

Following the announcement by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that the company would undergo a 14 percent reduction in its workforce, conference rooms at the Redmond campus were reserved by the human resources.

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Education Reform
5:06 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Here Are Washington's New Prospective Charter Schools

Seven organizations have filed to open charter schools in Washington in the state’s second-ever round of applications.

The proposed schools include California-based charter chains… a bilingual school… and a school that would teach partly in sign language.

Three of the schools would be in Spokane, with the rest in Seattle, Sunnyside, and Pierce and Clark Counties.

Three of the groups had applied unsuccessfully to open schools last year.

The state’s charter school authorizers will decide which applications to approve, if any, by mid-October.

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Gridlockalypse
10:09 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Brace Yourself: Major I-90 Closure Will Pinch Region's Roads

Sound Transit bus routes that run between Bellevue and Seattle are expected to have major delays. Those routes are 550, 554, 555, 556, 560, 566 and 567.
Credit Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you travel on I-90 between Bellevue and Seattle, the Washington State Department of Transportation has a message for you: Start making other plans.

Beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, road work will take westbound I-90 near Bellevue Way S.E. from four lanes down to one, around the clock, for seven days.

To help ease the pain, WSDOT is asking you to plan now to change your commute.

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