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'Small' Oil Spills Can Add Up To Big Costs

Mar 23, 2015

State Fish and Wildlife Biologist Brian McDonald is careful not to raise his voice as he approaches a row of baby cribs in a warehouse in Pasco, Washington. Each one holds mallard ducks.

“They’re typically in pretty rough shape--they’re sick, they’re cold, they’re oiled, they’re hungry,” he says.

In this 2012 file photo, Troy Kelley, the Democratic candidate for state auditor at the time, takes questions at a debate.
Flickr Photo/Daniel Brunell (CC-BY-NC-ND)

If you're confused by the headlines about the investigation into Troy Kelley, Washington state's auditor, you're not alone. Below, we unpack the news and put it in context. 

The federal probe involving Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is casting a wide net.

The Washington State Auditor’s office has released a federal grand jury subpoena it received earlier this month.

Legislation to bring together Washington’s two dueling marijuana systems is moving forward. As KUOW’s Amy Radil reports, the challenge may come in deciding which medical dispensaries get to stay open.

Federal agents searched the home of Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley on Monday. Now, the Democrat’s office confirms it turned over documents to the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday in response to a subpoena.

Courtesy Boeing

There is an old saying in the Pacific Northwest about the state’s largest private employer: “When Boeing sneezes, Seattle catches cold.” 

The Puget Sound region has had its fair share of sniffles over the years, but 14 years ago Boeing made a decision that was one of the most dramatic in the company’s entire history.

Several hundred gambling devices in Idaho would become illegal under a bill now headed to the House floor.

Asha Gobana says a man pointed a gun at her and made anti-Muslim threats.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones / KUOW

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle wants the FBI to investigate a possible hate crime against a woman in SeaTac. The group says it’s concerned about a recent spate of similar incidents, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

One section of Bertha's front body now sits on the ground near the rescue pit.
AP Photo/Ted Warren

A 270-ton section of Bertha’s front body now lies on the ground in downtown Seattle, ready for workers to add steel reinforcing. The Seattle Tunnel Partners hopes to lay the tunnel borer's cutter head nearby in a couple of weeks. 

They’ll be repaired so workers can complete the tunnel that’s replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct. KUOW’s Joshua McNichols went to Pioneer Square to see how people are feeling about Bertha these days.

Chief Willy Harper inside the Oso fire house. It has reverted to a quiet volunteer fire department in the months since the slide.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Sunday marks one year since the Oso landslide. Highway 530 will shut down in the morning as people gather to commemorate the day.

The Oregon Transportation Commission on Thursday voted 3-1 to deny a $2 million grant of state funds for dock improvements at Port Westward in Clatskanie, Oregon, a project tied to proposed coal exports.

It was the second time the commission voted down the controversial application, which the former chair of the commission claims she was fired for refusing to approve the first time.

Environmental groups had urged the commission to reject the application and lauded the vote.

The Washington state Auditor’s office says it’s turned over documents to the Department of Justice in response to a subpoena.

Do you travel a la mode? Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled a plan to end what he called the "mode wars."
Flickr Photo/Ann and Tim (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattleites have many travel options, but sometimes those options clash.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray hopes to change that with a $900 million transportation levy being floated to voters this fall. Murray says his plan, called Move Seattle, would not perpetuate what he calls the mode wars.

Some legislators in Olympia say they're having second thoughts about exempting Western Hockey League teams from state labor laws.

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