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Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water. Officials have ordered more tests to determine the source of the lead.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife has unveiled the first update in 10 years to its species conservation strategy.

That plan guides the monitoring and protection of non-game animals — the kind that aren’t hunted or fished. It also determines how the state uses millions of dollars in federal conservation grants.

The update identifies which habitats and species have the greatest need for conservation.

Lead-Tainted Water, Oregon's Lawmakers Drank It Too

Sep 2, 2016

Some drinking fountains have been turned off at the Oregon Capitol building after tests showed an unsafe level of lead in the water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says even small amounts of lead in drinking water can be hazardous, especially to children and pregnant women.

An initial round of tests in the Capitol showed unsafe levels of lead in two water fountains.

There was also lead in bathroom faucets in the oldest section of the Capitol building, which dates to 1938. That's home to the governor's office and both legislative chambers.

Can we interest you in some elk tartare? Or how about venison crash-ciatore? Oregon still firmly forbids people from collecting roadkill, but Washington state has now joined Idaho and Montana in allowing individuals to salvage dead deer and elk from the roadside.

Openings on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission have sport fishing groups eyeing an opportunity to gain a voice while some environmental groups worry they’ll lose one.

Two members are up for reappointment and another seat is vacant on the commission, which sets natural resource policies ranging from hunting and fishing rules to last year’s decision to remove gray wolves from the endangered list.

Seaside School District has four schools in the tsunami zone.

The school board unanimously approved a bond measure Thursday to build a new campus outside the tsunami zone. It tried to pass a bond to get them out in 2013, but that failed.

Superintendent Doug Dougherty thinks this time it’ll be different.

First, because Weyerhaeuser has donated land above the tsunami zone. And second, because Seaside is first in line to receive $4 million in matching funds from the state.

New rules are taking effect in Washington that require railroads to prove their readiness for an oil train spill.

The rules, adopted this week, will require railroads to file plans informing the state Department of Ecology of the steps they will take if an oil train derails and spills. The state then reviews those plans and puts railroads through drills to test their preparedness.

Spill planning was a longtime gap in oil train safety.

Railroads in Washington must now meet the same planning requirements as other forms of oil transport such as pipelines and ships.

The Washington Department of Ecology issued a $444,000 fine Thursday to Total Reclaim, the state’s largest electronic waste recycler.

Dave Price wants to know why Seattle doesn't do a better job planning for traffic congestion.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Traffic is so bad in Seattle. Sometimes, when you’re sitting in your car, or on the bus, and you’re not moving, you wonder, is anyone, anyone with power, paying attention?

Gil Aegerter

Emily Fox talks with Seattle Times reporter Sandi Doughton about a new study that finds a drastic decline in African elephants. The Great Elephant Census was funded by Paul Allen's company Vulcan.

Court Rules Corps Can Continue Killing Cormorants

Sep 1, 2016

A federal district court judge found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke the law in approving a plan to kill cormorants on the Columbia River, but he allowed the plan to go forward.

In his ruling, Judge Michael Simon said the agency failed to consider alternatives before deciding to kill the birds, which prey on juvenile salmon and steelhead. However, he also ruled that the agency can continue killing the birds because it helps threatened and endangered fish.

Lobbyists are paid to try to influence legislation. One way they build relationships with lawmakers is by hosting political fundraisers. And that’s happening a lot this election season with lobbyists for business, labor and other interests.

  The Cayuse Mountain Fire has been the second largest in Washington state this summer. The blaze consumed 14 homes and displaced up to 50 people on the Spokane Indian Reservation. But the community is trying to get back to normal life.

Members of eight Washington tribes took lessons they learned last spring with them to North Dakota last week, where the Standing Rock Sioux are opposing the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

A Hanjin shipping container ship dwarfs a Washington State Ferry.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Youngstrom (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4HNML6

Hanjin of South Korea filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week. It's one of the biggest shippers in the world, with ships often seen on Puget Sound and containers piled near our ports.

Now retailers are worried about the holiday goods that are in those containers.

The National Retail Federation is pleading with shippers to keep the movement of goods going. But around the world, port terminals are turning their backs on Hanjin ships.

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