The Supreme Court decided Friday to hear a challenge to a 2013 Texas law that has already forced the closure of more than half of the state's 40 clinics that perform abortions and could result in the closure of a dozen more.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been under fire for opening three detention centers to hold Central American immigrant families who fled to this country seeking asylum.

Under the pressure of a federal court order, ICE is now exploring ways to release the mothers and children with alternatives to detention — but human rights activists are unhappy that the same for-profit prison company that locked up the families now manages their cases after release.

Opponents of Initiative 1366, a tax-limiting measure passed by Washington voters on November 3, said they will try to get an injunction to keep the new law from taking effect. That announcement Thursday comes as the Washington Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that allowed the measure to remain on the ballot.

Prosecutors in Washington state want voters to decide in 2016 whether to keep or repeal the death penalty. It’s been 40 years since Washington voters last weighed-in on the death penalty. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg says the time has come for voters to have another say on the subject.

Nearly 1.2 million public housing units would need to become "entirely smoke-free" under a new rule put forth Thursday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The proposed rule would give more than 3,100 public housing agencies 18 months to ban cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all living units, indoor common areas and within 25 feet of buildings. The ban would also apply to administrative offices.

Seattle City Council District 1 candidates Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Updated: 4:45 p.m., 11/10/2015:

A close margin in one Seattle City Council race just got razor thin. Lisa Herbold now trails Shannon Braddock in District 1 by a mere six votes. 

Oregon says it's making strides in finding housing for homeless veterans and just announced funding for two new housing projects for vets.

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether the government can freeze a defendant's legitimately obtained assets, thus preventing the accused from hiring a lawyer.

Sila Luis, the owner of Miami home health care companies, was indicted on Medicare fraud charges in 2012. She has been detained at her home for two years while her case wended its way to the Supreme Court. She wants to use some of her assets to hire a lawyer for her trial.

In 1890, a shoemaker from Louisiana named Homer Plessy indentified himself as "black" on the decennial U.S. Census population survey. Plessy did this even though, as a Creole who was one-eighth black, he was light-skinned enough to pass for white.

Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to remove wolves from the state's list of endangered species.

The decision changes little in the short term for Oregon’s known population of 81 gray wolves. A state management plan would continue to permit killing wolves only if they're caught in the act of attacking or involved in repeated livestock damage.

A Washington state senator says he will try again in January to convince his colleagues to ban marine mammal shows. That announcement Monday came as SeaWorld said it will end orca whale performances at its San Diego theme park next year.

When the sand on the beach threatens to overrun your house and your driveway, long walks on the beach might not seem quite so romantic anymore. Some Oregon coastal communities want to form a new type of governmental agency just to deal with the problem of too much sand.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be feeling the heat again in Tuesday evening's debate as he tries to rebound from a disappointing performance last month that renewed questions about his viability.

"I think there's going to be a lot of pressure on Jeb," predicted Katie Packer Gage, who was Mitt Romney's deputy campaign manager in 2012. "He put some pressure on himself by telling people he's going to get better and work on his debate performance. I think this is kind of a make-or-break moment for him to really step up what he's been able to do in previous debates."

An Oregon judicial commission kicked off a two-week hearing Monday. The panel is considering the fate of a judge who's accused of screening out same-sex couples for marriage ceremonies.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

City and county leaders have declared a civil emergency on homelessness in Seattle. But some critics say what's been proposed is not enough.

Sheley Secrest, the local NAACP's chair of economic development, said racial equity should be baked into the new emergency plan or it may not reach certain communities.