There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field. Northwest farmers and seed purveyors say they go to great lengths to keep each variety of grain distinct, tracked and pure. And yet they concede, mistakes can still happen.
"A random isolated occurrence"
We’re in downtown Connell – prime Columbia Basin wheat country. Dana Herron is a seed salesman and as we talk I notice he’s a really clean guy. He carefully folds his paper napkin, and later he dons gloves to pump gas.
Workers are back on the job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. Work stopped this week when radioactive soil was found under the nests of some swallows.
Swallows used some radioactive mud to make nests on exposed beamwork in Hanford’s waste treatment plant. That’s the $12 billion factory designed to bind-up radioactive sludge in glass logs. The nests were found during routine tests, but this is the first radioactive contamination of the new plant.
A couple of years ago, Democratic politicians at the state and national levels set heady goals for battery powered cars. For example, in his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama said, "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."
Washington House Democrats have abandoned some proposed tax increases, but not others, in what they call a “significant compromise” budget offer to the Senate. The public unveiling Wednesday of a slimmed down House spending plan comes as the clock is running out on the current overtime session with still no budget deal.
Ron Eng is a geologist at the Burke Museum. He took a look at samples collected by a diver in the water near Seattle's Ballard Locks. These and other field samples were gathered for a lawsuit against coal companies and a railway.
The August primary election is only about two months away, but you might not even know it. The Seattle mayor’s race, which involves nine candidates, has yet to hit the front pages. Ask any random people on the street, and chances are they aren't even aware that a race is underway.
The candidates have been hard at work on the campaign trail, but much of what they have been doing is not immediately obvious.
About a million Washington residents are now without health insurance. Come October, the state hopes to get many of them enrolled in a plan. That’s when Washington’s Health Exchange is scheduled to launch. But signing people up for health insurance is not as easy as it sounds. There’s still a lot of misinformation about Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Correction 6/6/2013: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Staff Sgt. Bales was from Lake Tapps, Ohio.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the American soldier from Lake Tapps, Wash., charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians during night time raids on two villages last year, pleaded guilty Wednesday to avoid the death penalty. The judge, Col. Jeffery Nance has accepted his plea agreement which takes the option of the death penalty off the table.
Forty-eight days: That’s the average time people who are suspected of immigration violations are held in detention in Washington state before they are released or deported. A new report from researchers at Syracuse University also concludes that among states with the largest populations of detainees, Washington ranks among the worst for long detention times: number 20 out of 30.
There’s one week left in Washington’s special legislative session and still no budget deal. Governor Jay Inslee and the Senate majority caucus held dueling news conferences Tuesday complete with plenty of finger-pointing.
The governor went first. Inslee, a Democrat, blasted the mostly Republican Senate majority for an estate tax measure that passed out of committee late last week. Inslee called it a new tax break for more than 200 wealthy Washingtonians at the expense of public schools.
People take long flights to pay low prices for sex. In a radio story from WGBH, Phillip Martin explores the international sex tourism industry. Here in the Seattle area, Highway 99 hosts one main corridor where prostitution is easy to see. Hot spots dot the roadway, from Northgate to Sea-Tac.
Some of those prostitutes are also underage girls, forced by pimps to walk the streets. That's called child sex trafficking.
After numerous high-profile lawsuits against tech companies, a Bellevue-based patent company is now setting its sights on the financial industry.
On Tuesday, Intellectual Ventures announced it has filed lawsuits against two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank, for patent infringement. This is Intellectual Ventures’ second round of lawsuits targeting financial firms in the past week. On May 29, the company filed suit against First National Bank of Omaha and PNC.
The National Park Service said Tuesday it is increasing safety training and altering some rescue techniques in the wake of the death of ranger Nick Hall on Mt. Rainier last June.
Park Service officials made the recommendations following a report released Tuesday, detailing the incident. As a result of the review, they said the Park Service would begin favoring a technique that puts the ranger on a wire dangling from a helicopter, instead of on the ground battling a rescue litter.
An ankle-high plant with a funny name is stirring up controversy in southeast Washington. The federal government is considering whether to list a yellow-flowering plant known as the White Bluffs Bladderpod as a threatened species. Landowners worry the listing could curtail farming.
I’m out on the edge of a ridiculously steep precipice on the Hanford Reach National Monument – it’s a swath of protected federal ground. This spot overlooks old nuclear reactors just across the brimming Columbia River.
Even if you've never visited a jail, you probably have a pretty clear image of what inmate visitation is like – a shatterproof glass barrier, two people sitting on either side, speaking into telephones.
But that's changing in some parts of the Northwest. More and more county jails are switching to privately operated video conferencing systems. Sort of like Skype, for inmates. But these systems have technical difficulties and come with costs for the inmates’ families.