government

Agricultural Act
9:05 am
Mon February 3, 2014

How The Farm Bill Funds Environmental Programs, Too

The Farm Bill funds more than just agriculture. The new bill will also affect the Northwest environment policy.
Courtney Flatt

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:58 pm

The Farm Bill doesn't just put billions of dollars into agriculture programs. The Agricultural Act of 2014, as the bill is formally called, will also affect conservation of Northwest wildlife and natural resources.

The House has passed a version of the bill, and it's expected to go to the Senate Monday.

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Immigration Reform
3:38 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

A Washington Dreamer On The State's REAL Hope Act

The REAL Hope Act would allow undocumented immigrant college students to be eligible for need-based financial aid.
Flickr Photo/Dave Herholz

David Hyde hears from Carlos Padilla, a 21-year-old undocumented immigrant and co-founder of the Washington Dream Act Coalition. The Washington state Senate is expected to pass the REAL Hope Act on Friday. The bill would allow undocumented immigrant college students to be eligible for need-based financial aid.

Human Trafficking
3:24 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

In The Shadow Of The Stadium: Sex Traffickers Target The Super Bowl

Steve Scher speaks with Elie Honig, New Jersey's director of the Division of Criminal Justice, about his team's efforts to combat prostitution and sex-trafficking in advance of the Super Bowl.

Week in Review
2:26 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

News From Olympia, State Of The Union, And Super Bowl XLVIII

The Seattle Seahawks will face the Denver Broncos for Super Bowl XLVIII.
Flickr Photo/Joe Parks

State lawmakers signal progress on the DREAM Act. President Barack Obama's outlines his goals in his State of the Union address. And the 12th man gets ready for Super Bowl XLVIII. 

We talk over these stories and more with Crosscut’s Knute Berger, Eli Sanders of The Stranger and political reporter Robert Mak.

Education & Immigration
2:09 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Washington State Senate Passes 'REAL Hope Act'

State Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor.
Courtesy of Washington State Legislature

Steve Scher talks with state Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, about the passage of the Senate Republican's version of the DREAM Act called the REAL Hope Act. Bailey is chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.

EarthFix Reports
8:56 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Washington Senator, Chefs Weigh In Against Pebble Mine

Jason Lake has been fishing in Bristol Bay for 25 years. Nearly 1,000 in Washington hold commercial fishing permits which brings in over $100 million to the state.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) stood at Seattle Fishermans’ Terminal Thursday alongside chef Tom Douglas and fishermen to denounce a controversial mine proposed at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Government
8:43 am
Fri January 31, 2014

What The Farm Bill Tucked Beneath Northwest Christmas Trees

Congress is on the verge of approving a surcharge on Christmas trees to pay for a national board's promotion of this leading Northwest crop.
Ian Sane/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/31246066@N04/5850816091/in/photolist-9V1XMv

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:03 pm

A once-stalled plan to support Christmas tree growers nationwide could be on its way to winning congressional approval as part of the new Farm Bill.

A provision in the bill adds a 15-cent surcharge on the cost of Christmas trees sold by larger farms. The revenue would help market those trees -- a potential boon for growers in Oregon, which leads the country in Christmas tree production.

You’ve likely heard of the dairy industry’s famous "Got Milk?" campaign but you’ve probably never heard an ad that asks, "Got Christmas Trees?"

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2010 Anacortes Explosion
7:35 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Tesoro Refinery Blast Reflects Industry-Wide Problems

The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., with Mount Baker in the background.
Credit Flickr Photo/Scott Butner

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals’ mistaken assertion that Tesoro’s fines had been reduced to $858,500. The correct figure is $658,500.

Safer practices and better steel could have prevented a deadly explosion at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., in 2010, according to a new report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.  

The blast killed seven workers.

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Mental Health
4:04 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Mental Health Advocates Push For Change Of ‘Shattered System’

A proposed law would allow people to petition a court to have family members involuntarily committed to a mental facility.
Flickr Photo/Micheal J (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with mental health advocate Sandi Ando about a proposed law that would allow people to petition a court to have a family member committed against his or her will.

Ando is public policy chair for Washington's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

2007 Murder Trial
1:42 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Amanda Knox Convicted Again For Murder In Italian Court

Amanda Knox.
AP Photo/Peter Kramer

Seattle native Amanda Knox has once again been found guilty in the murder of Meredith Kercher by an appeals court in Florence, Italy, and sentenced to 28.6 years.

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Young Activists
11:34 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Kids Take On Washington Legislature In Picking New State Symbols

Palouse Falls
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:20 am

Washington may get at least two new official state symbols, thanks to some young students.

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Prescription Supply
11:20 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Opiate Refugees' Caught Between Pharmacies, Suppliers And The Law

Flickr Photo/Greg McMullin

This week the state Department of Health reported that prescription drug overdose deaths are down 27 percent since 2008. But curbing fraud and abuse of powerful opiates has come at a price for some legitimate patients who say they’re suffering unnecessary pain due to delays at pharmacies. 

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Politics
8:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

At GOP Retreat, House Members Regroup On Immigration

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:09 pm

Just days after President Obama called for action on immigration reform, Republican members of the House are regrouping on the issue during their yearly three-day retreat in Cambridge, Md.

As Roll Call explains, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is expected to present members with a one-sheet document on Thursday that lays out principles for rewriting immigration laws.

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Proficiency Testing
8:56 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Air Force Cheating Scandal Widens; 92 Nuclear Officers Linked

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:03 am

Nearly 20 percent of the officers in the U.S. Air Force's nuclear weapons corps have now been implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal, the secretary of the Air Force said Thursday.

Deborah Lee James told reporters that 92 individuals in the 500-member force are now thought either to have shared information about the answers to the test or to have known that others had done so, The Associated Press reports.

The wire service adds that:

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Lethal Injection
8:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Execution Witnesses In Washington To See Needle Insertion

File photo of the execution chamber at San Quentin. A camera in the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla will record more of more of the execution process.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:02 pm

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

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