Two Oregon state agencies have fined helicopter company Applebee Aviation close to $10,000 and suspended the company’s license to spray pesticides after a worker complained of chemical exposure in Douglas County.

Both the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health and the Oregon Department of Agriculture opened investigations in the case brought by Darryl Ivy, a truck driver and pesticide handler who was exposed to herbicides on the job and who released hundreds of photos and videos in alleging unsafe conditions during aerial herbicide sprays.

The Environmental Protection Agency came out with new rules Thursday that will make it harder to pollute the air with ozone, the main ingredient in smog.

The new allowable threshold in the air is 70 parts per billion, down from 75.

While many cities across the U.S. will be forced to make changes to improve air quality, Northwest communities are generally in good shape for now.

“A profound sense of loss.”

Those are the words Washington Governor Jay Inslee used to describe the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Disability Rights Washington announced Thursday that it will delay the filing of a lawsuit against the state of Washington on behalf of mentally disabled sex offenders on McNeil Island at the request of the state.

Another Washington state juvenile killer sentenced to serve life without parole will be set free next year. This follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and passage of a new Washington state law.

Old or uncertified wood burning stoves will be banned in parts of Pierce County starting in October.
Flickr Photo/Michael Buist (CC BY NC ND)/

Ross Reynolds interviews  Craig Kenworthy, executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, about why they're banning all old wood stoves in Tacoma and the Puyallup River valley.

Despite efforts to get people to voluntarily disable or remove their polluting older model wood stoves, there are still  an estimated 20,000 stoves still in use in that part of Pierce County. Beginning in October, those using an older wood stove, except if it's a primary source of heat, will face a $1,500 fine.

Mentally disabled sex offenders housed on Washington’s McNeil Island aren’t getting the treatment they deserve. And, in some cases, they’re being held in isolation.

Federal energy regulators have signed off on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal and pipeline in Southern Oregon. A final review published Wednesday says the Jordan Cove project won’t have significant negative effects on the environment.

The LNG export terminal proposed for Coos Bay would be the first on the West Coast. The 230-mile pipeline would connect the terminal to Rocky Mountain and Canadian gas supplies.

City of Seattle pothole rangers at work in 2011.
Seattle Department of Transportation

The cure for some of Seattle’s transportation pains may be tough to swallow: a nearly $800 increase in annual taxes, fees and user charges for the city’s typical household.

That number comes from former state transportation chief Doug MacDonald, who calculated the cost of changes in state tax structure, car-tab charges and proposed levies.

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

The bill to fund the government through Dec. 11 has been signed into law by President Obama. That beats the midnight deadline for keeping government agencies operating.

Earlier in the day, the Senate and the House passed the bill, which does not strip funding from Planned Parenthood.

Remember, some House Republicans had insisted on no payments to Planned Parenthood before they would vote to extend funding for the whole government.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reported on the bill's progress for our Newscast unit:

Correctional facilities have to provide health services to people who are incarcerated, but that doesn't mean the care is free of charge. In most states, inmates may be on the hook for copayments ranging from a few dollars to as much as $100 for medical care, a recent study finds.

Twitter seems simple — just type in 140 characters and hit enter, right? But Twitter can be tough. Building an audience. Keeping that audience. Finding a voice. Cutting through all the chatter. It's a lot, especially if you're a busy elected official.

Well, elected officials, fear not! Twitter itself is here to help. NPR recently discovered that the social media giant has a very special handbook just for people running for elected office. And it's 136 pages long.

A Washington state lawmaker who has been trying to make paid family leave available to all workers said a new federal grant will be a big help. 

A massive multi-family apartment building with commercial retail spaces underneath. A train enters the photo in the foreground at the left of the frame.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Ross Reynolds talks to King County Executive Dow Constantine about his new initiative to develop 700 units of affordable housing around transit centers.