News

Soldiers Return Home
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Northwest Soldier Homecomings Signal End Of War In Afghanistan

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:01 pm

For more than a decade, Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord has been sending soldiers off to war and welcoming them back home. Now this cycle of deployments and homecomings is winding down.

Over the next month, more than 1,000 soldiers from the 4th Stryker Brigade will return home. More than 200 were welcomed back Wednesday. And this time they don’t expect to go back to Afghanistan.

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Weekend Traffic Closure
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

I-405 And SR-520 Closed This Weekend

Northbound I-405 will be closed this weekend to replace hundreds of broken concrete panels.
Credit WSDOT

State Route 520 and northbound I-405 will be closed this weekend for inspection and repairs. Both directions of SR-520 will be closed between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 from 11:00 p.m. Friday through 5:00 a.m. Monday.

Northbound I-405 from S.E. 8th Street to SR-520 from 10:00 p.m. Friday to 4:00 a.m. Monday. The I-90 ramps to northbound I-405 will also be closed.

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Seattle Sports Team
9:33 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Seattle Underwater Hockey Team Headed For Nationals

Underwater hockey players vie for the puck.
Credit obscuresports.wikispaces

Want to try a new sport? Seattle has a nationally ranking sports team that wants you on their team roster. All you need is a bathing suit and the desire to play hockey at the bottom of a swimming pool.

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Employers Eager To Hire
4:24 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Thousands Show Up At Kent Jobs Fair

Christopher Price (left) and Wilette McClenon-Chanteuse waited in live for several hours to meet with Boeing representatives.
Jim Gates

Despite the drop in Washington’s unemployment rate, many people are still looking for work. More than 3,000 people attended a jobs fair at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Tuesday. Companies had a big presence too. Law enforcement recruiters showed up in force, as did insurance companies and healthcare providers. But the big player was Boeing.  

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Vigilante Sanitation
11:59 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Merchant Installs Outhouse In Pioneer Square

Seattle plans to install a Portland Loo, pictured, near Pioneer Square. One area merchant didn't wait for that to happen.
Flickr Photo/Kevin Christopher Burke

They can arrest her — but she’s not going to put up with the stink.

A Pioneer Square business owner built her own outhouses and put them up last week to cut down on restaurant goers, sports fans and homeless people urinating in the alleys.

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Washington Train-To-Ship Oil Terminal
11:55 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Port Of Vancouver Reconsiders Proposed Oil Terminal

Washington's Port of Vancouver is reviewing a proposal for an oil terminal fed by the Bakken fields in North Dakota - the same source of oil attached to the train explosion in Quebec last weekend.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

UPDATE 7/10/13, 4:09 p.m. PT: The Associated Press is reporting that the death toll for the Quebec train crash that rocked a small town over the weekend has reached 50. Canadian officials have declared that the missing people in the explosion are now presumed dead.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships.

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Community & Technical Colleges
10:29 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Wash. Colleges Start Tracking Students' Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

iagoarchangel Flickr

Bringing new meaning to "student orientation," Washington community and technical colleges will start asking students their sexual orientation and gender identity when students register for classes this year.

Laura McDowell, spokeswoman for Washington State Board of Community & Technical Colleges, said it was students who proposed the colleges start tracking the data.

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Hanford Cleanup Update
9:26 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Massive Hanford Waste Dump Reaches 15 Million Ton Mark

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:52 pm

Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.

In central Hanford, a ceremonial load of soil marked 15 million tons of waste disposed of at the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. Dozens of truck horns blared in response.

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Legislative Ethics
9:26 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Conflict Of Interest Lines Blur In Citizen Legislature

Washington Legislature

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:55 am

Washington lawmakers have departed the Capitol and are getting back to their normal lives. For most of them, that means going back to their regular jobs as farmers, lawyers, nurses, business owners. It’s the essence of a citizen legislature.

But this dual existence – one job as a lawmaker and another job back home - can invite conflicts of interest.

Family Matters

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Health Exchanges
9:25 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Northwest Health Exchanges Are Big Money Ventures

Cover Oregon

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:47 pm

Nearly $500 million.

That’s how much the federal government has awarded Washington, Oregon and Idaho to create health benefit exchanges. These are the new web portals to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s a costly undertaking that involves six-figure salaries, hefty IT contracts and high-end advertising campaigns.

If a green, talking gecko can sell car insurance, then maybe Portland-based folk singer Laura Gibson can sell health insurance.

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Jail Officers Reinstated
4:12 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Wash. Department Of Corrections Ordered To Reverse Firings After Officer's Death

Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl was murdered at Monroe Correctional Complex in 2011.
Credit Washington State Department of Corrections

An arbitrator has ordered the state Department of Corrections to reinstate three staff members who were fired after Officer Jayme Biendl was murdered at Monroe Correctional Complex two years ago.

Biendl was strangled inside the prison's chapel by inmate Byron Sherf, who was serving time for rape.

After the investigation, three corrections officers were fired. One was demoted. The DOC accused them of misconduct, dereliction of duty and intentionally misleading investigators.

The union filed a grievance on their behalf.

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Seattle Mayor's Race TV Ads
11:35 am
Tue July 9, 2013

TV Ad Wars Begin In Seattle Mayor's Race

With less than a month to go before the August primary, candidates in the crowded Seattle mayor's race are now trying to reach voters with new ads on cable TV.

Ads from two of the nine mayoral candidates are now on the air, and a third will begin airing this week.

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Oil Transportation
10:31 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Canada's Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern

Freight train burning in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.
Flickr Photo/Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The weekend’s deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train.

By Monday afternoon the confirmed death toll had reached 13, with 50 people still missing after Saturday’s derailment of more than 70 tanker cars. They were filled with oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota — home of the largest oil boom in recent US history.

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Ferry Rate Changes
5:51 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Proposal: Half-Price Youth Fares On Wash. State Ferries

The Washington State Ferries' M/V Quinault approaches the Keystone landing on Whidbey Island.
Credit Flickr Photo/A. Davey

Correction 7/9/13: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that on the Seattle-Bainbridge ferry, the peak season, round-trip fare for a car and driver would go up $0.90 to $17.30. That total was a one-way fare. In fact, the round-trip fare would increase $1.80, to $34.60.

If you ride the Washington State Ferries, prepare to pay a bit more. The Washington State Transportation Commission wants to increase fares by about six percent within the next year. The commission says the rate hike is needed to meet revenue targets set by the legislature in the 2013-2015 transportation budget.

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San Fransisco Plane Crash
11:43 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Too Early To Tell If Asiana Plane Crash Caused By Human Or Manufacturer Error

This aerial photo shows the wreckage of the Asiana Flight 214 airplane after it crashed at the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Saturday, July 6.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The government of South Korea says its officials will inspect engines and landing equipment on all Boeing 777s owned by Asiana and Korean Air, which was the type of plane that crash-landed in San Francisco Saturday, killing two people and wounding dozens more.

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