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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has said she’s calling a special session next week to correct a simple matter of unfairness in state tax policy. But the first public hearing on Brown’s proposal Wednesday suggested debate could be anything but simple.

Crews with the Washington Department of Transportation have been working for two days to fortify a stretch of U.S. Highway 97 threatened by the rising Okanogan River.

A few days ago, there were a few small piles of sandbags, some cones and a sign warned drivers to slow down at Milepost 313.

An environmental group sued the Southern Oregon city of Medford Wednesday over wastewater discharge in the Rogue River. The suit alleges outflow from the sewage treatment plant violates the Clean Water Act.

Northwest Environmental Advocates says the city’s wastewater treatment plant releasing nutrients into the river. They says Medford has known about the issue for years and has not moved to correct the situation.

A military doctor sets up surgical tools
Flickr Photo/US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RRummb

Andy Hurst talks with Politico editor Arthur Allen about a new report from the Pentagon that found massive problems with the U.S. military's effort to modernize health records. 

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It’s been more than a year since immigration officials raided a Seattle-area home and detained Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old who was a recipient of the federal ‘dreamer’ program.

Prosecutor Kevin Barton will take the helm of the Washington County District Attorney’s Office next year, after overcoming a forceful challenge from opponent Max Wall in the most expensive DA race Oregon’s ever seen.

Washington drivers who are thinking about buying an electric car would be wise to get down to a dealership in the next two weeks. That's because a valuable tax break disappears at month's end.

Oregon Voters Select Val Hoyle As New Labor Commissioner

May 16, 2018

Former lawmaker Val Hoyle appeared poised to secure victory in the heated race for Oregon labor commissioner on Tuesday, becoming just the second woman to oversee the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in 115 years.

Valerie Nagle, who lives in her van: 'It would be huge, if there was enough housing, affordable housing.'
KUOW photo/David Hyde

With Seattle adding tens of millions of dollars to fight homelessness, people around the city want to know: Is that money being spent effectively?

Valerie Nagle is one of them. She lives in her van.


Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley Tuesday lost a motion to have his conviction for possession of stolen funds tossed out. But a federal judge in Tacoma did grant two of Kelley’s other motions.

It’s been a busy day along Highway 97 near Tonasket, Washington, as trucks haul sand and sandbags to communities that could be affected by extreme flooding along the Okanogan River. The river first crested last Saturday.

But residents are bracing for more.

The National Weather Service is predicting possible thunderstorms later this week around the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, Washington. That could cause the Eightmile Lake Dam above the town to fail.

And a simmering dispute between the local irrigation district and the U.S. Forest Service isn’t helping.

Volunteers joined emergency crews this week to brace for the possibility of major flooding on a number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington state.

The combination of a near-record snowpack in southern British Columbia and temperatures soaring into the upper 80s has caused flood watches starting at the U.S.-Canada border running south along the Okanogan River.

Correspondent Emily Schwing is on the scene and sent back these photos.

  

In farm fields from the Willamette Valley to the Kittitas Valley and east to Idaho, energy developers want to plant a new crop: commercial solar arrays. But a surge in utility-scale solar farm applications is generating pushback.

Workers pour concrete for a floor of an office tower in Renton. Pouring concrete carries a lot of risk for workers.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Around Seattle, you might think more workers are getting hurt given that construction is booming.


Men exit the Abu-Bakr Islamic Center after prayer on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

For years, Tukwila’s stretch of highway 99 was known for its crime: drug sales, prostitution, burglaries and violence. Then one morning in 2013, hundreds of police officers raided the old motels where most of those crimes were happening.

Mohammed Jama ran a small shop next to the motels. He’s part of the large Somali and refugee community centered around the Abu Bakr mosque in Tukwila. 

He told us the raid changed his life.


De'Sean Quinn shows his prized possession: the key to one of the motels that used to dominate Tukwila's stretch of the old highway 99.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Everything had to work perfectly.


Two embattled Washington state representatives have filed to run for re-election—despite ongoing investigations into their conduct.

Democrat David Sawyer of Tacoma and Republican Matt Manweller of Ellensburg both registered their candidacies with the Secretary of State’s office on Monday, the first day of filing week.

The National Weather Service is concerned about this week’s warm weather rapidly melting snow upstream of Leavenworth, Washington, this week. There may also be storms on the way.

A number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington are in imminent danger of flooding. That’s because spring temperatures have soared into the upper 80s and Canada’s near record snowpack is melting fast.

Flooding hasn’t been this bad in the Okanogan Valley since 1972. This week, forecasters say, it could get close to breaking that record.

Okanogan County Fire District Commissioner Jack Denison said that’s a “worst case scenario.”

Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services has approved a new three year contract with Wells Fargo.
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/okhmqR

Breaking up is hard — especially if you're a city trying to break up with a bank.

Especially if the other banks aren't all that interested in dating you.


A group of senators from western states want to expand a national effort to boost timber production and restore natural conditions on overstocked forests using thinning and other restoration work.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, would extend the Forest Service’s expiring Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program for the next 10 years and double its annual budget to $80 million.

Emily McArthur reacts on Monday, May 14, 2018, during the head tax vote at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The head tax is happening — but the weakened version passed by the Seattle City Council today won't address the scale of the housing crisis, some council members say.


Oregon To Replace 450 Old Diesel School Buses

May 14, 2018

The state of Oregon will pay to replace 450 old diesel school buses using some of the $72.9 million dollars it expects to receive through the Volkswagen emissions cheating court settlement.

About 2,800 of Oregon's diesel school buses were built before 2007, which means they release far more pollution than newer buses. The older buses could be replaced with newer diesel buses, or with alternative vehicles powered by natural gas or electricity.

Gamblers throughout the country got good news Monday, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports betting in most states. That could lead to new betting options in Oregon and Washington, if legislators decide to allow betting on team sports in those states.

This stretch of 99 is looking more walkable today because Tukwila took it from the state.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It started with street trees. Tukwila wanted to plant some along state Route 99 to slow down traffic and beautify the area.

But the state said no. Trees, it turned out, were not safe, at least not as safe as lamp posts. 


SLIDESHOW: Sea Gals hopeful Kiana stretches before the final auditions on Sunday, May 13, 2018, at the CenturyLink Field West Club Lounge in Seattle. Tap or click on the first image to see more.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The 2018 Sea Gals squad has been determined. Of the 52 Sea Gals hopefuls that competed on Sunday during the final round of auditions, only 28 dancers made the team. 

Towns in central and northeast Washington are under flood watches as rivers swell from rapid snowmelt in the mountains.

In the small Washington border town of Oroville, the Okanogan River is above flood stage and the river is expected to begin flooding south as the week progresses.

A nearly 100 year-old dam near Leavenworth, Washington, is under heavy pressure from melting snow this week and officials are warning downstream residents to be prepared to evacuate if the dam breaks.

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