News

EarthFix Reports
9:32 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Wyden, Merkley Take Railroads To Task Over Oil Train Safety

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley discussed concerns about oil train safety with dozens of public officials and railroad executives Friday.
Tony Schick

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 4:32 pm

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley asked railroad company executives Friday to address mounting concerns about oil train safety in Oregon.

Following several oil train derailments and related emergencies in the past six months, the senators gathered in Portland with public officials officials and rail industry representatives.

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Sports
9:25 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Big Crop Of Northwest Olympians Headed To Sochi Games

The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team has a Northwest flavor, including these Nordic skiers, Sadie Bjornsen (3rd from R), Erik Bjornsen (5th from R), Holly Brooks (5th from L) and Simi Hamilton (2nd from L).
Sarah Brunson U.S. Ski Team

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 11:10 am

Athletes headed to the Winter Games from Oregon, Idaho and Washington run the gamut from Olympic rookies to medal-draped veterans.

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Radioactive Waste
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington State Slaps Fine For Mishandled Waste At Hanford

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Over the last several years, Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers have mishandled barrels and boxes of hazardous and radioactive waste in the central part of the site.

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Population Shifts
7:28 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington Ranks Sixth For New Foreign And Out-Of-State Residents

Nearly one-third of new transplants to Washington are in their 20s.
Flickr Photo/dvs

Roll out the welcome wagon: New census figures show Washington state continues to rank as a top destination for people who move from across the country or from abroad.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:32 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Still No Answers For Stuck Bertha

Washington Department of Transportation's Matt Preedy points out the new roadway that will lead into the tunnel.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

So far, crews trying to determine what’s stalling the State Route 99 tunnel machine have found a hard object more than three feet wide lodged in it.

They’ve also found metal and plastic piping. But what exactly is causing the stoppage is still unknown.

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EarthFix Reports
9:39 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How Do You Squeeze Gardens Into Cityscapes? Think Vertical

Seattle's vertical garden is an art installation that asks passersby to consider innovative ways to squeeze gardens into urban areas.
Nate Watters

In dense, concrete-locked urban areas like Seattle space for gardening is hard to come by. After all, this is a city where land is so valuable that people spend an average of $346 per square foot on their homes.

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Egypt Violence
9:30 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Deadly Blasts Hit Police In Cairo

Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi damage an area on a street as they protest against the government in Cairo's Nasr City district on Friday.
AP Photo/Sabry Khaled

Six people have been killed and some 100 others wounded in a series of explosions in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

A powerful car bomb exploded outside the police headquarters in central Cairo on Friday morning, killing four people and wounding at least 76.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
9:22 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Hundreds Of Expected Layoffs At Hanford Canceled

File photo of a crew working on a waste tank at Hanford in 2010.
U.S. Department of Energy

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:23 pm

About 300 people will keep their jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

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Politics
9:08 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington House Democrats Propose $12 Minimum Wage

File photo of the House Chamber at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia
Cacophony

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

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Economy
9:04 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Unemployment Rate In Washington Lowest In More Than 5 Years

The unemployment rate in Washington state has fallen to the lowest level in five years.

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:58 pm

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

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Government
9:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

How The Farm Bill Could Make It Harder To Track Down Pollution

Two provisions in the House version of the latest Farm Bill could limit the amount and type of information federal agencies give out about farms.
Flickr Creative Commons: Scott Butner

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 1:00 am

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency messed up. And now the mistake has led to a fight between open government advocates and farmers.

The EPA accidentally released the names and addresses of 80,000 farmers to environmental groups. That's a lot of information that's supposed to be redacted.

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Marijuana Legalization
7:46 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Hempfest Backlash: Seattle Police Spokesman Subject Of Discrimination Complaint

The SPD Doritos giveaway at last year's Hempfest was a viral hit, but it is now the subject of a complaint.
NPR Photo/Martin Kaste

The Seattle Police Department made national headlines when officers gave away bags of Doritos at last year’s Hempfest. But some police officers were not supportive of the department’s lighthearted approach to marijuana users.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington Hospital Mergers Subject To State Review

A growing number of hospitals are affiliating with faith-based organizations. New rules would put such mergers under review by the state.
Flickr Photo/Michael B.

Starting Thursday, hospitals that plan to merge or form partnerships will now undergo state review as part of a new rule that takes effect this week. And nobody’s happy with the new regulations, not even the critics who called for change.

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Agriculture
12:48 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

How Drones And Satellites Can Boost The Biofuel Crop

High-tech cameras, sensors, aircraft and satellites could more accurately predict crop yields and increase the cost-effectiveness of biofuels. Dan Long holds the small aircraft equipped with cameras, while John Sulik holds the controls.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 9:47 am

Northwest farmers are trying to get into the business of biofuels.

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Cannabis
12:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Indoor Pot Farms Are Energy Guzzlers, Research Shows

Lights used in indoor pot farms can be as bright as those in operating rooms.
Flickr Photo/Fulvio Minichini

While the legalization of marijuana could be viewed as a liberal cause, the counterculture’s favorite herb isn’t exactly eco-friendly.

“Indoor pot farms are energy guzzlers,” said Seattle news analyst Joni Balter.

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