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government

Courtesy of Jon Shields

Do we teach civics anymore? Technically, yes, in the public school systems of all 50 states. We often call it government. But are these courses fulfilling the spirit of our country’s founding when it comes to civic responsibility? Thomas Jefferson had something like this in mind: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

The Spokane City Council will consider an ordinance Monday, that would make it easier for anyone with a criminal record to be hired.

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Rhonda Berry at a press conference announcing the intent to move youth detention oversight to Public Health Seattle King County.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

King County Executive Dow Constantine is making a change he says will help the county with its effort to dramatically reduce the practice of detaining young people arrested for crimes.

Constantine signed an executive order Thursday moving oversight of youth detention to Public Health Seattle King County.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

TransCanada, the company that owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline, says that an estimated 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of oil have spilled near the small town of Amherst, S.D.

Nathan Cultee dumps 16 farm-raised Atlantic salmon into a container on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Home Port Seafood in Bellingham.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Lynda Mapes, environment reporter for The Seattle Times, about where all of the nearly 100,000 escaped Atlantic salmon went and what lawmakers in Olympia plan to do about it. 

Jenny Durkan at her election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2017
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle mayor-elect Jenny Durkan greeted her 61-member transition team at a meeting at McCaw Hall Thursday. Members gave her a standing ovation after her introduction by former King County Executive Ron Sims, who said he is “ecstatic” about Durkan’s win.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that President Trump believes the allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore are "very troubling and should be taken seriously" but stopped short of calling on him to step aside as other national Republican leaders have.

"He believes the people of Alabama should make the decision of who their next senator is going to be," said Sanders, who added later that she didn't expect Trump to campaign for Moore.

Documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo doesn't make enough money to have to pay Seattle's new high-earners tax, but he still wants to keep Seattle income-tax-free. So much so, he joined around 30 plaintiffs suing the city.

When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

In response to recent reports about sexual harassment at the Washington state Capitol, a state Senate committee voted Tuesday night to require all senators and staff to take annual sexual harassment training.

The vote by the Senate’s Facilities and Operations Committee was unanimous.

Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

Two female lawmakers accused sitting members of Congress of sexual harassment but did not divulge their identities, at a House hearing Tuesday.

"This is about a member who is here now; I don't know who it is. But somebody who I trust told me the situation," said Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., a member of the House Administration Committee, which is conducting a review of existing policies to prevent and report sexual harassment.

Tough new laws against handling a cell phone behind the wheel  took effect in Washington and Oregon this year. Each state’s legislature made it illegal to drive while holding an electronic device for most any reason.

Oregon and Washington will be part of a group discussing climate change initiatives with two neighboring nations. The agreement between the more than a dozen U.S. states and Mexico and Canada is the product of meetings at an international climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

Gov. Jay Inslee leads a study mission to Switzerland to learn more about the country's apprenticeship system November 10, 2017.
Flickr Photo/Jay Inslee (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/21uMMxx

Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to develop a new normal for high school students: joining apprenticeship programs.

Jenny Durkan at her election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2017
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

If it seems more women jumped into politics this year, experts say that's true. Washington state will now have female mayors up and down Interstate 5, including in Seattle, Everett, Lynnwood, Kent and Vancouver.

Later this week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will discuss how the West Coast can push a progressive agenda to curb carbon emissions.

For years, Inslee — who has been called the green governor — has pushed to tax his state’s biggest polluters. But with a Republican-controlled state Senate, the ambitious plan languished.

On Tuesday, Republicans lost their one-vote majority in the Washington state Senate, giving Democrats control of the “great blue wall": full control over the legislatures across the West Coast in Oregon, Washington and California.

Manka Dhingra greets supporters at her Election Night party on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Tuesday night’s results put Democrat Manka Dhingra ahead of Republican Jinyoung Englund by double digits in a race for a state Senate seat in Seattle’s northeastern suburbs.

Englund has not conceded the race in the 45th district. But Dhingra’s supporters say they have flipped the Senate to Democratic control.

Rosa Melendez, right, points toward Jenny Durkan as she thanks her volunteers on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at The Westin in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tuesday’s election results gave Jenny Durkan a formidable 21-point lead over rival Cary Moon. At the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle, Durkan celebrated the news without declaring victory.

But Durkan said she’s also preparing for a rapid transition to the mayor’s office.

Ben Doko cheers with other supporters as Jenny Durkan gives a speech on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at The Westin in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has taken a commanding 21-point lead in the Seattle mayor's race against urban planner Cary Moon. KUOW’s Paige Browning speaks with reporter David Hyde, who was out covering the race on election night.

File: King County, Wash. Sheriff John Urquhart testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The King County sheriff's race has been a bitter one.

And the first results show challenger Mitzi Johanknecht leading incumbent John Urquhart with roughly 52 percent of the vote.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Just south of Seattle, the immigration debate took center stage in a closely watched election.

In Burien, four out of seven City Council seats were up for election. And three were still a tossup after initial vote results Tuesday night.

Democrats had the early advantage in the race for control of the Washington state Senate as Democrat Manka Dhingra led Republican Jinyoung Englund by 10 points in a special election on the eastside of Lake Washington.

Jenny Durkan waves to supporters after giving a speech on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at The Westin in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Update 11/8/2017, 4:15 p.m.

Jenny Durkan has won the race for Seattle mayor. 

She had a strong lead on opponent Cary Moon after initial results Tuesday night, and Moon did not make up ground after the latest results were posted Wednesday afternoon.

Jim Loter documented building a backyard cottage in Seattle. Here's a picture from day 25: erecting the walls.
Flickr Photo/Jim L (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/s/aHsju5PWuH

Seattle officials are conducting an environmental review of the entire city to look at the possible impacts of building more backyard cottages. Some lawmakers want to make it easier for homeowners to build them.

Residents can weigh in now on the scope of that environmental review.

When he's not bow hunting elk, Ty Stubblefield, an organizer with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, is fighting to protect public land - and it's cost him some friendships.
Courtesy of Ty Stubblefield

Ty Stubblefield self-identifies as a “red blooded conservative,” but he’s also an avid hunter who is frustrated with the Republican party’s efforts to transfer public lands out of federal control. So, he’s fighting back.

More than 170 women who work or have worked at the state Capitol have signed onto a letter urging sweeping change at the Legislature to end inappropriate behavior and misconduct women say they face on the job.

A former legislative assistant for Washington state House Democrats says she was sexually harassed by Rep. Jim Jacks nearly two years before he was forced to resign for “inappropriate behavior,” but that the House’s system for addressing misconduct failed her.

The Department of the Interior is outlining steps aimed at increasing energy production on federal lands. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says boosting production of resources like oil and gas creates jobs and enhances the nation’s energy security.

Davis Shoulders, center, dances as Rise Up! Action Band member Adrienne Kerr plays the saxophone on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, during a rally at City Hall in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Activists packed Seattle City Hall Wednesday night to testify in front of lawmakers and demand an end to the removal of unauthorized homeless camps.  

Many of those who spoke also support a proposed business tax that would raise funds to help combat homelessness.

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