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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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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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More from KUOW
11:57 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Yakima To Sieze Cars Of Multiple DUI Offenders

Flickr Photo/Greg Matthews

The "Palm Springs of Washington" is no vacation for those that have more than two DUI convictions within seven years. The assistant city attorney is behind a pilot program that will seize, store and eventually sell the car of someone that is convicted of a second DUI within seven years. Ross Reynolds gets an explanation of how the program got started. 

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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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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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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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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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Sequester Furloughs
8:13 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Mandatory Furloughs Tough On Employees At Madigan Army Medical Center

Staff Sgt. David Kolodziejczak draws blood out of the arm of an ROTC cadet at the Madigan Army Medical Center (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).
Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

Correction 7/8/2013: A previous version of this story contained an error. Furloughs begin Monday, July 8, not Friday, July 12.

Beginning Monday, more than 2,600 civilian employees at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma will begin mandatory one-day-a-week furloughs.

The furloughs are a result of the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

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Columbia River Treaty
10:39 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Canada Defends Hydropower 'Entitlement' From U.S. Northwest

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 2:50 pm

Here's a little known fact that may affect your power bill: Every year, public utilities in the Northwest give British Columbia several hundred million dollars worth of electricity. That's to compensate Canada for managing the upper Columbia River to minimize flooding and maximize hydropower downstream.

Americans are pushing for a better deal, but the B.C. government is preparing to defend what's now considered an entitlement.

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Irrigation Control
11:25 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Controversy In The Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Plan

 The Yakima Basin Water Plan includes one of the biggest land purchases in Washington state history: 50,000 acres in Upper Kittitas County. But it also includes some projects such as a dam on Bumping Lake that some people are not at all happy about. Ross Reynolds talks with Chris Maycut, president of the organization Friends of Bumping Lake about his issues with the water plan.

Irrigation Control
12:15 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Washington’s $100 Million Land Purchase In Upper Kittitas County

The large land purchase approved by Gov. Jay Inslee is designed to protect water sources.
Flickr Photo/Jay Inslee

Yesterday, Governor Inslee put the final stamp of approval on one of the biggest land purchases Washington state has ever seen. The state budget includes $100 million for 50,000 acres in Upper Kittitas County, at the headwater of the Yakima River Basin. Officials say protecting this land will be a big step towards securing water supplies in the region. Ross Reynolds talks with columnist Joel Connelly about the significance of this land purchase.

Failed Transportation Bill
12:05 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Troubled Bridge Over Oregon And Washington’s Waters

Flickr Photo/Robert Gaskin

The Washington state budget was signed by Governor Inslee yesterday without the $10 billion transportation deal. That’s fatal news for the Columbia River Crossing — a bridge that would link Portland, Or. to Vancouver, Wash. Ross Reynolds talks with Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman about why the bridge failed and what that means for Oregon.

Columbia Bridge Update
9:50 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Joint Washington-Oregon Columbia River Crossing Office To Close

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:40 pm

In what Washington Governor Jay Inslee calls "a dang shame," plans for a new bridge over the Columbia River are shelved -- if not dead. The Washington legislature adjourned without funding the construction phase of the project.

You might call the Columbia River Crossing “the bridge to the archives.” That’s where the blueprints will go now that the Washington Senate said “no” to a gas tax increase. That nixes $450 million for the new bridge over the mighty Columbia between Vancouver and Portland.

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SCOTUS Response
1:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Friends Of Same Sex Marriage Toast Supreme Court, Conservatives Declare Battle Not Over

Credit flickr photo / Al404

You can bet the U.S. Supreme Court was toasted a number of times over the weekend by same-sex couples and their friends. Last Wednesday, the court overturned a key provision of the national Defense Of Marriage Act. That decision extended federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples in states like Washington where such marriages are legal. But national conservative groups aren’t calling it quits just yet. They’re working to stop the spread of same-sex marriage to other states.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, July 1:

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