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Debt-Buying Firm Runs Afoul of State Consumer Law

August 28, 2014, 6:06 pm
One of the fastest growing industries in Washington - collecting bad debts - hit a speed bump Thursday thrown up by the state's high court. The high court justices ruled unanimously that a debt buying company is. In fact, a collection agency, and may not file collection lawsuits without a state license.

Judges Wrangle Over Death Sentence Which Will Not Be Carried Out

August 28, 2014, 5:56 pm
For years now, state and federal courts have tied themselves in knots trying to decide if a Spokane man, Dwayne Woods, ought to be put to death for two brutal murders in Spokane Valley in 1996. But whatever the final decision is, Woods won't be executed any time soon.

City Clerk Stratton Fills Opening on City Council

August 28, 2014, 4:25 pm
City of Spokane clerk Karen Stratton will take a leave of absence as clerk and start her city council duties September 15th The Spokane City Council voted five-to-one to hire Stratton Monday night. Stratton says public service is in her blood. 

ACLU Says WSU-Spokane Should Refuse Religious Medical Doctrines

August 28, 2014, 4:10 pm
WSU-Spokane excitedly announced funding for six new medical residency spots in December. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington says the partnership that made the slots available could bind WSU to religious directives. The resident students will work in a medical clinic at WSU Spokane.

Idaho Celebrates Water Rights Allocation Process

August 27, 2014, 5:43 pm
With completion of a long, laborious legal process to figure out who owns what water in the Snake River basin, Idaho has become the first state to adjudicate water rights on a large scale. Completion of the process was so momentous that Idaho invited Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to preside over a celebration.

‘Smart Growth’ Lesson for Spokane County Leaders

August 27, 2014, 4:15 pm
Spokane county leaders held their third meeting on growth management today (Wednesday), following the development freeze they instituted in April. The entire board of Spokane County Commissioners, Spokane City Council and Mayor are using the meetings to facilitate conversation.

One Wolf Dead in Stevens County Wolf Hunt

August 26, 2014, 5:51 pm
The Washington department of Fish and Wildlife has authorized killing several members of a wolf pack that have been preying on Sheep in Stevens County. Fish and Wildlife officials say the Huckleberry wolf pack is believed responsible for the death of 22 sheep in an area between Hunters and Springdale, Northwest of Spokane.

Footloose Wolf Needs His Batteries Recharged

August 25, 2014, 6:14 pm
While airborne hunters try to track and kill at least four wolves in Stevens County which are under a death sentence because of sheep depredation, a hunt will also be underway for a lone wolf in Oregon, But in the case of the world's most famous wolf, the idea is to re-collar him, not kill him.

Spokane To Be Sisters With Central-Mexico City

August 25, 2014, 4:19 pm
The lilac city will soon have ties to a trade hub in Mexico. The city of Spokane is working to become sister cities with a state capital in Mexico’s north-central region. Spokane has business, cultural, and educational links to Limerick, Ireland, Nishinomiya, Japan, and Jecheon, South Korea. Add San Luis Potosi to that list. 

Mayor’s Ice Bucket Challenge Preps Spokane For Gleason Fest

August 21, 2014, 1:48 pm
The mayor of Spokane and a couple dozen football players took the ice bucket challenge today, dumping buckets of ice water on their heads at Gonzaga Prep. The fundraiser asks people to dump a bucket on themselves, or donate for Lou Gehrig’s disease, otherwise known as ALS. It’s gone viral, and for the organizers of Spokane’s Gleason Fest, that’s a good thing.

State High Court Gives Rapists Access to DNA Testing

August 21, 2014, 11:47 am
Virtually any convicted rapist in Washington State may now be able to demand and get DNA testing which might, or might not, point to his innocence. In a case dating from 1993, a majority of the state's high court has ruled that a man serving time for five counts of first degree rape has a right to have DNA from the crime scene tested. 

Council Will Sunset TBD If City Ignores Pedestrian Plan

August 20, 2014, 1:56 pm
The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a sunset clause on the city’s $20 vehicle license fee. Council member Jon Snyder brought forth the ordinance, which mandates that city administrators must create a pedestrian master plan that gets council approval by the end of 2015, otherwise the transportation benefit district will fold.

Oregon Growers Go Nuts Over Hazelnut Demand

August 19, 2014, 12:19 pm
A few Oregon farmers are downright smug this summer about another weather-inflicted crop disaster on the other side of the world. They're hazelnut growers, mostly in the Willamette Valley, responsible for virtually the entire US crop of the nuts.

Snyder Hangs Pedestrian Planning Over Heads of City Administration

August 15, 2014, 12:32 pm
Spokane City Council member Jon Snyder wants to take city administrators to task on creating a pedestrian master plan. Already this week he presented his ordinance that would dissolve the six-year transportation funding pool if the city fails to create a pedestrian plan.

Tribe Looking To Claim Water Rights in North Idaho Process

August 15, 2014, 12:22 pm
Idaho officials will be taking up the issue of water rights in North Idaho this fall. That, after the negotiation process was approved by the legislature this year. The process is called water adjudication, and will determine who gets how much of the region's water. The state has had a senior water rights policy for years, but also has a “lose it or use it policy” meaning if some aren’t using their current rights, they can be taken away.

Megaload Moving Despite Petition In Northern Idaho

August 12, 2014, 5:25 pm
Another megaload of oil refinery equipment is traveling through the Inland Northwest this week, and with it, protesters have scheduled demonstrations in Idaho towns. Friday, the Idaho Transportation Department issued a permit to the company Bigge Crane to haul a nearly one-million pound load across northern Idaho.

Primary Election Results

August 6, 2014, 4:24 pm
Primary Election results from Washington state and Spokane County, as of Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

Tight Race For Spokane Commissioner Favors French, Johnson

August 6, 2014, 4:20 pm
The race for Spokane County Commissioner is just about as close as it gets. At last count (pre-5:00pm), Incumbent Al French has 36.2 percent of the vote, and newcomer Mary Lou Johnson has 36.5. Bonnie Mager only won 27 percent of the vote, even considering her experience as a past commissioner and her clear opposition to controversial urban growth decisions.

Ecology Initiates Conversation on Water Quality Talks

August 6, 2014, 4:03 pm
Washington’s governor proposed new state water quality standards in early July, and off the bat citizens debated the proposal. The department of ecology acknowledges getting the public on board will be a challenge, so it held info sessions for both reporters and citizens this week.

French Company Wins INL Waste Disposal Contract

August 6, 2014, 12:15 pm
The company which runs the Idaho National Laboratory has agreed to pay a French nuclear company $34-million to entomb low-level nuclear waste at the giant facility. Battelle Energy Alliance awarded the contract to Areva Federal Services, an American subsidiary of the French company, Areva.

Carlton Complex 90 Percent Contained

August 5, 2014, 5:29 pm
Fire managers have the Carlton Complex in north central Washington almost fully contained. The containment lines are now circling 90 percent of the largest fire in Washington state history, the Carlton Complex. Those lines run nearly 200 miles around the 255,000 acre fire.

Education Chief Wants to Drop the Spending Hammer on Lawmakers

August 5, 2014, 4:45 pm
In a special Washington State Supreme Court hearing early next month, state legislators may feel a bit like kids called to the principal's office. The high court justices have summoned top lawmakers to explain why they have not come up with a plan to increase state funding for education.

Mayor Announces 2015 Budget and Hillyard Police Station

August 5, 2014, 3:34 pm
City leaders announced the proposed 2015 budget Tuesday in a parking lot in Hillyard, northeast Spokane. Mayor David Condon says in the past two years the city has built a sustainable operating budget, which allows them to shift attention to the capital budget in 2015.

“Give Real Change” Effort to Steer Money Away from Spokane’s Panhandlers

August 4, 2014, 3:53 pm
You may see posters soon in Spokane that read “Give Real Change”. It’s a new anti-panhandling campaign by the city and Downtown Spokane Partnership, meant to direct people’s money away from panhandlers and into area charities.

Acclaimed Explorers Photographers to Take on Spokane’s Stage

August 4, 2014, 3:48 pm
The organization that brings Broadway shows to Spokane every year is branching out to world renowned photography. West Coast Entertainment announced Monday it will host a four-part series called National Geographic Live over the next year.

Otter Warns Judges Against Activism in Gay Marriage Fight

August 4, 2014, 3:36 pm
Idaho Governor Butch Otter is not only mounting a vigorous defense of Idaho's constitutional mandate that marriage is between a man and a woman, he's also wagging an admonishing finger at the judges who will decide the case.

A Libertarian and Independent-R Battle Against Riccelli For State Rep

August 1, 2014, 4:01 pm
Primary Election ballots are in hand in Washington, and among the races in Spokane is state representative district three. Incumbent Marcus Riccelli is finishing his first term and running for re-election, this year against one opponent he faced last time, and a first time candidate.

Yellow Pine Rocks Tiny Idaho This Weekend

August 1, 2014, 3:56 pm
Summer music festivals abound in the Inland Northwest. But a tiny hamlet in the mountains of central Idaho boasts a showcase this weekend for a unique instrument - the pocket harp. OK, so pocket harp is just an archaic name for an instrument almost every kid knows - the harmonica.

Pub Ready for Business After Fire in Twisp

July 29, 2014, 11:21 am
The fires in North Central Washington have made life miserable for those worried about their homes. One area businessman says the situation has many worried about their livelihoods. The small town of Twisp, Washington is a destination for holiday travelers in the summer months. But at the Twisp River Pub, things have been very bad the last week.

Fire Community Bands Together For Resources, Animals, Mental Health

July 25, 2014, 12:40 pm
The Carlton Complex of fires has consumed 300 homes in north-central Washington, according to the Okanogan County sheriff Friday. It’s too soon for many people to know what they lost in the fire, including homes, orchards, livestock, or pets. Fire spokesperson Joni Quarnstrom says other counties have stepped in to help.

Oregon Congressman Blasts House Leadership on Fire Funding

July 25, 2014, 11:31 am
Oregon's outspoken Congressman Peter DeFazio blasted U-S House leadership for letting Congress fiddle while Oregon burns. On the House floor, the Democratic congressman told his colleagues to wake up and smell the smoke.

Progress in Week Two of Washington's Largest Wildfire

July 24, 2014, 12:46 pm
Crews are making good progress at the huge fires burning in North Central Washington state. Fire crews have made the most advancement at the enormous Carlton Complex, which at 250,000 acres is the largest fire in state history.

Day After Storm, Update From Spokane

July 24, 2014, 12:41 pm
Of the roughly 70,000 customers who lost power in the Inland Northwest Wednesday, about 20,000 homes and business are still in the dark. Even with all available crews at work, that’s the combined total from Avista Utilities and Inland Power and Light.

WA Fire Crews Hope Weather Brings Aid

July 23, 2014, 1:17 pm
Fire crews continue to battle several major fires in Washington state, but are hopeful changes in the weather may come to their aid, at least for a while. Several fires are burning in the state, with the Carlton Complex, the state's largest in history, now at 250,000 acres.

Casino Cancels Nugent Based on "Hate Filled Remarks"

July 23, 2014, 12:26 pm
The Coeur d'Alene Casino has cancelled a concert with 70's rocker Ted Nugent. Coeur d'Alene tribal officials decided to drop the event after what they called Nugent's history of "racist and hate filled remarks" was brought to their attention.

Water Slide for Fish Touted at Lake Cle Elum

July 22, 2014, 4:09 pm
If people can use and enjoy water slides, why not fish? If the funding can be secured, the Yakima Indian tribe and the federal Bureau of Reclamation have plans to build a unique spiral water slide to help sockeye salmon find their way out of Lake Cle Elum on the Yakima River.

Watermelon Hill Fire Update Shows Improvement

July 21, 2014, 10:54 am
In eastern Washington, the Watermelon Hill fire that started Friday is no longer threatening homes, but is creeping up to a resort area. The fire is burning about 7 miles southwest of Cheney, and grew into Spokane County over the weekend.

Idaho Nurse Gets Allies in Fight Against NSA Phone Tracking

July 17, 2014, 1:43 pm
A Coeur d' Alene nurse - she describes herself as "just a small town girl" - has gotten some powerful legal help in her seemingly Quixotic quest against government snooping in her phone records. 32-year old Anna Smith, a neonatal emergency nurse at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, was shocked when she found out the National Security Agency collects and stores her phone records.

Northwest News Network (N3) - NEWS HERE

July 16, 2014, 3:08 pm
For regional news from the Northwest News Network, daily updates are here...

CDA Chief Calls Dog Shooting "Regrettable Tragedy"

July 16, 2014, 1:33 pm
Coeur d’Alene’s police chief has admitted the controversial police shooting of a dog inside a parked van last week  was “a regrettable tragedy”. At this weeks City Council meeting, interim Chief Ron Clark addressed last Wednesday’s fatal shooting of the 2-year-old black Labrador named ArfeeThe incident has divided the community.

Campers, Brides, Crowd Turn Out for Spokane Pot Store

July 15, 2014, 6:23 pm
Marijuana passed hands from cashier to customer Tuesday across the state. To mark the first day of legal weed sales statewide, Spokane Green Leaf opened its doors at 2:00. To say the least, it was not your average shopping experience. Mike Boyer camped overnight so he could be the first customer.

Campers, Brides, Crowd Turn Out for Spokane Pot Store

July 15, 2014, 6:23 pm
Marijuana passed hands from cashier to customer Tuesday across the state. To mark the first day of legal weed sales statewide, Spokane Green Leaf opened its doors at 2:00. To say the least, it was not your average shopping experience. Mike Boyer camped overnight so he could be the first customer.

Washington Near the Bottom in Road Quality

July 15, 2014, 5:11 pm
To ratchet up the pressure on Congress to replenish the nation's road-building fund, the White House on Monday released a state-by-state assessment of crummy roads and bridges. It probably won't surprise Spokane drivers, who are accustomed to being rattled and shaken by potholes, that Washington has some of the worst roads and bridges in the northwest.

Idaho Congressman Shudders at the Idea of Joe Biden in the Oval Office

July 15, 2014, 3:01 pm
If Sarah Palin thought she would get support from Tea Party House members in her campaign to impeach President Obama, she's been disappointed. Even Idaho's Raul Labrador, a Tea Party favorite, dismissed the possibility of an impeachment process against the president, at least this year.

Vets Find Home Through Goodwill Grants

July 14, 2014, 5:13 pm
Officials from Goodwill Industries and the City of Spokane held a joint news conference today to announce three federal grants that will help offset homelessness. The funding totals more than eight-million dollars, and its all dedicated to housing for the homeless. 

State's Rights Issue Surfaces in Boulder-White Clouds Designation

July 14, 2014, 4:24 pm
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has voted unanimously to oppose creation of a national monument in the spectacular Boulder-White Clouds region of the Sawtooth Mountains. The reason? They fear loss of state control of fishing, hunting and ATV rules.

Police Chief: ‘Public Health Crisis’ in Spokane

July 10, 2014, 6:13 pm
This week, law enforcement and mental health officials have been overloaded in the Inland Northwest. Two people in Spokane and two people in Post Falls have died from domestic violence attacks. These tragedies, plus a rise in self-harm cases, have officials putting the spotlight on mental health.

Wildfire Money Neutralizes Partisan Politics

July 10, 2014, 4:19 pm
There's one sure way to unite congressional delegations from Idaho, Oregon and Washington, regardless of party affiliation. Warn them that money to fight wildfires is about to run out. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, a liberal Democrat, was so shaken when he emerged from a White House briefing on wildfire season funding that he urged support for a bill written by an Idaho conservative Republican, Mike Simpson.

First Spokane Pot Buyer Fired From Job

July 10, 2014, 4:04 pm
A man who waited in line overnight to be the first customer at Spokane's first legal marijuana shop says he has since been fired from his job. But, the company says that’s not entirely true.

Where's the local news?

July 10, 2014, 2:57 pm
We are transitioning to a (fantastic) new website this week. Thank you for bearing with us during the transition. Until then, please call or email us to access certain news stories you heard on air: (800)-328-5729, kpbx@kpbx.org

Thank you!

Inslee Proposes Fish Consumption Rates and Cancer Rates

July 10, 2014, 2:43 pm
Washington Governor Jay Inslee is proposing new water quality standards that are designed to limit hazardous chemicals released into area waterways. The Governors proposal, announced Wednesday, would improve water quality by establishing new standards that will give more authority to the Department of Ecology.

Hospital Shooting Highlights Spokane’s Mental Health Needs

July 9, 2014, 5:42 pm
Police say Tuesday, Chris Henderson arrived at his wife Sheena Henderson’s work, at Deaconess Medical Center, and shot her, then himself. They had two children, who are now with relatives. Officers say this is an example of a regional need for mental health resources.

Idaho Voters Would OK Higher Road, Bridge Taxes

July 8, 2014, 4:10 pm
For many Idaho lawmakers, the word "tax" is a four-letter word. So it may surprise them to discover that most Idaho voters would be willing to absorb tax increases to pay for good roads and bridges. The University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research found out through telephone polling last spring that boosting spending on highways and bridges should be among the legislature's top three priorities.

Pot Still Banned in Some Washington Towns

July 8, 2014, 2:56 pm
Tuesday was the first day legal recreational marijuana went on sale in Washington. But as when alcohol first became legal after prohibition, there are some areas of the state where sales have been prohibited. Several counties and municipalities have decided that recreational marijuana sales will be banned, despite the public vote to approve Initiative 502.

Six More Med School Grads Now Training in Spokane

July 7, 2014, 5:06 pm
When medical students graduate, they must complete at least three years of a physician training program, called a residency. Historically, there are not many residency slots in Spokane, but a health consortium is trying to change that. Through their effort, six new residents began their training this month.

Copper Causes Clash in Methow Valley

July 7, 2014, 4:10 pm
A new round in an old fight may be opening in Washington's scenic Methow Valley - a clash between economics and the environment. A Canadian mining company plans to test drill for copper on national forest service land near Mazama in the Methow Valley.

Washington's Sasquatch Defies Discovery

July 4, 2014, 4:03 pm
It's been a bummer of a week for Sasquatch or Bigfoot fans. Leave it to a bunch of dry academic killjoys to squatch, as it were, offerings of physical evidence that Sasquatch exists. An Oxford University professor studied 57 samples of hair or skin, purportedly from mysterious creatures in the Cascades or as far as the Himalayas, and they all fizzled out.

Fourth of July Fireworks Still Banned in Spokane

July 4, 2014, 1:39 pm
The nation’s biggest week for firework use is overlapping with some of the year’s hottest weather yet in Spokane. It could be a nice combination for those celebrating the 4th of July, but it solicits worry for fire officials. Firework use is banned in the city of Spokane, and it has been for 22 years. Fireworks are also banned in Spokane Valley, Millwood, Cheney, Liberty Lake, and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County. 

How Washington Married 3,500 Gay Couples on One Day

July 1, 2014, 5:14 pm
More than three thousand same-sex couples can say Monday was their wedding day in Washington. The marriages came not through ceremonies, but by paperwork for people in domestic partnerships.

Pot Brownies to Have Labels, For Safety's Sake

July 1, 2014, 3:42 pm
Marijuana sales are soon to begin for the general public in Washington State. But state officials who regulate the products say they want to make sure those who might purchase edible marijuana products are safe. State officials say they are concerned that there may be some folks who are not prepared for the experience of eating cannabis products in the form of cookies or candies.

Water Fight Still Simmering In Idaho

June 30, 2014, 3:44 pm
Two old foes are battling again before an Idaho government agency. The prize is water. In arid southern and southeastern Idaho, junior and senior water rights holders are still locked in an ongoing struggle over scarce water. 

Coeur d'Alene Tribe Wins Poker Court Case

June 30, 2014, 2:38 pm
The Coeur d'Alene tribe is celebrating a victory with a US district court ruling concerning a poker game offered at their Worley, Idaho casino, but it’s still uncertain how the issue will be resolved. Last week, Chief Judge B Lynn Winmill ruled that the Coeur d'Alene tribe was correct in it’s read of the 1992 gaming compact between it and the State of Idaho.

Fire Station 9 Starts its Engine Again in Spokane

June 30, 2014, 1:35 pm
As of Tuesday, firefighting response will improve on Spokane’s South Hill. The city of Spokane has restored firefighting capabilities out of station nine, near Manito Park. In early 2013, the city cut off firefighting efforts at station nine by replacing the station’s engine company with a rescue truck. City leaders blamed budget shortfalls for the change.

Officials Discuss Where Pot Shops Can Open

June 26, 2014, 3:19 pm
Marijuana will likely go on sale legally in the Spokane area as soon as the first full week of July. Yhree licensees have been approved for Spokane after a final inspection. Ironically, none have yet been approved for the Seattle area. Some questions remain over the location of stores and producers.

‘Christmas In June’, Hoopfest Turns 25

June 24, 2014, 6:26 pm
When the backboards go up and the sneakers are laced this weekend, it will mark the 25th anniversary of Spokane’s Hoopfest. It has remained the world’s largest three-on-three basketball tournament, and the organizers have a few things planned to celebrate.

Northwest Wheat Harvest Could Be Down This Summer

June 23, 2014, 12:41 pm

Northwest farmers are expected to harvest less wheat this summer. The projections indicate a down year in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The wheat harvest forecast has a lot to do with the weather forecast.

Native Americans Start Summer Break in the Lab

June 23, 2014, 12:41 pm
Native Americans have a statistically low presence in the health care profession, so for the past 19 years, a WSU educator has worked to change that. This month is her annual institute in Spokane for teens interested in health sciences.

Does Idaho GOP’s Inner Turmoil Matter Outside Political Circles?

June 23, 2014, 12:39 pm

Members of Idaho’s Democratic Party gathered over the weekend in Moscow. It was a much calmer event than the Republican convention the week before. That convention left Idaho Republicans still debating who the party chair is after their convention devolved in chaos. And they still don’t have a new platform.

Another Large Bee Die-off Attributed to Pesticides

June 20, 2014, 12:37 pm

Hundreds of honey bees and bumblebees died at a Eugene apartment complex Tuesday after trees on the property were sprayed with pesticides. The state is investigating. The State Department of Agriculture found out about the bee deaths from a TV report and sent an investigator out Wednesday.

Idaho Congressman’s Long-Shot Bid For Majority Leader Signals Tea Party Unrest

June 20, 2014, 6:30 am

Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador lost his bid Thursday for majority leader of the House. Kevin McCarthy of California will take the seat Eric Cantor is vacating next month. But the run may not be a complete loss for Idaho’s ultra-conservative Congressman.

Fire Season Increases Potential For Hazardous Smoke

June 19, 2014, 12:36 pm

Hot and dry conditions are expected to create above-normal wildfire conditions in parts of the Northwest this summer. While relatively few people will have to flee the flames, many more will experience a side effect of the fires: Thick, acrid smoke. Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with a health expert for some tips on how to stay safe in smoky conditions.

There's Still Gold in Idaho's Hills

June 18, 2014, 11:54 am
A small gold mining and milling company in Idaho's Silver Valley has struck gold again in a couple of old, largely played-out mines in central Idaho. The New Jersey Mining company reports that sample drilling in an old mine near Elk City Idaho has turned up  as much as half an ounce of gold per ton of rock.

Thompson Loses Bid For New Trial in Zehm Case

June 17, 2014, 11:53 am
Ex-Spokane police officer Karl Thompson has lost his bid to get a new trial in the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm. Thompson's main argument revolved around prosecutors' failure to disclose possibly exculpatory evidence from one of its expert witnesses, Grant Fredericks. 

Senate Hearing on Oil Bill Focused on Industry

June 17, 2014, 11:39 am
Tuesday, state lawmakers held a public hearing in Spokane about a senate bill on oil train safety. It came about a week after the governor ordered state agencies to study risks from oil spills. Instead of addressing the senate bill, or governor’s order, the hearing primarily served as an update from the oil industry.

OIC Whistleblower Speaks, But Says She’s Still Muzzled

June 17, 2014, 11:18 am

An administrative law judge who’s accused a state agency of pressuring her to rule in their favor broke her silence today . But she told lawmakers she’s not allowed to give them the whole story. Patricia Petersen says she wants to tell state legislators what’s behind her spat with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

School Funding Lawsuit Prompts Hearing On Separation Of Powers

June 16, 2014, 5:06 pm

The Washington Supreme Court could hold state lawmakers in contempt over school funding. But is the high court overstepping its bounds? A Republican-led legislative panel held a hearing Monday on separation of powers.

On Oil and Cities, Spokane Hosts State Leaders This Week

June 16, 2014, 4:16 pm
Olympia may be the traditional home for state committee hearings and discussions between city leaders in Washington. This week, Spokane will play host. The talks start with oil train safety, in a hearing with the Spokane city council and state Senate committee on energy, environment, and telecommunications.

State, Federal Government Continue Talks Over Hanford Tank Cleanup

June 16, 2014, 3:55 pm

Washington State and the federal government just gave themselves a 40-day deadline. They need a clear cleanup plan for leaking tanks of radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. If you think you’ve heard that before, it’s because you have.

State, Federal Government Continue Talks Over Hanford Tank Cleanup

June 16, 2014, 11:17 am

Washington State and the federal government just gave themselves a new deadline to resolve leaking tanks containing radioactive waste at Hanford. If you think you’ve heard that before - you have.

Another Washington Three-Strikes Offender Wins Clemency Recommendation

June 16, 2014, 8:30 am

Washington’s Clemency Board has recommended the release of another three-strikes offender serving life without parole. The three-to-zero vote Friday followed testimony from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg who supported the petition for mercy.

'Idaho’s Politicians Walk A Careful Line In Debate Over Bergdahl Release

June 13, 2014, 3:46 pm

Bowe Bergdahl at age 16. Credit: Bergdahl family photo.Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrived at a military hospital in Texas Friday to continue his recovery process. There has been no shortage of strong opinions about the release of the former POW … except, that is, among Idaho's Congressional delegation. The two senators and two congressmen from Bergdahl's home state have largely avoided the national fray.


 

Redwood Burl Poaching Spreads To Oregon

June 13, 2014, 3:44 pm

Redwood burl poaching has long been an issue in the Redwood National Park in California. But now a conservation group says it's spotted evidence of this type of tree damage in a national forest in Oregon. Redwood burls are the knobby growths sometimes found at the base of the towering trees.

Idaho’s Labrador Seen As Long Shot For Congressional Leadership

June 13, 2014, 3:43 pm

Second-term Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, on Friday, announced he’s running for House Majority Leader. That’s after current majority leader Eric Cantor lost his primary to a Tea Party challenger earlier this week. But some see Labrador as a long shot.

Washington Supreme Court Orders ‘State’ To Contempt Hearing

June 13, 2014, 11:50 am

A frustrated Washington Supreme Court appears ready to hold state officials in contempt. The high court late Thursday ordered the “state” to appear at a hearing in September to address the lack of a plan to fully fund basic education. The court’s highly unusual move follows a 2012 ruling that the state isn’t meeting its constitutional obligation to school children.

Washington Capitol Employees Get Active Shooter Refresher

June 12, 2014, 6:24 pm

Get out. Hide out. Take out. That’s the lesson employees at the Washington state Capitol got Wednesday in a class on active shooters. The refresher course comes in the wake of recent high profile shootings in the Northwest.

Expedia Begins Accepting Bitcoin For Hotel Bookings

June 12, 2014, 5:42 pm

Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia just announced that it will start accepting bitcoin for hotel bookings. Correspondent Tom Banse reports the online travel site is embracing the volatile, virtual currency on what it calls a "test-and-learn" basis.

Why Do Polls Show Dramatically Different Results In Senate Race?

June 12, 2014, 5:16 pm

Two polls released nearly back-to-back this week paint dramatically different pictures of the Oregon Senate race. One shows challenger Monica Wehby in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Jeff Merkley. The other shows Merkley with a double-digit lead. There are some possible reasons for the discrepancy.

Idaho, Oregon Lawmakers Unite for Wildfire Money

June 12, 2014, 4:45 pm
Federal lawmakers from two fire-prone states - Idaho and Oregon - are urging both houses of Congress to make funding for wildfires a bit less harum-scarum and disruptive than it is now, and to do it before the wildfire season erupts.

Johnson Brings Attorney Experience to County Commission Race

June 12, 2014, 4:27 pm
Two people are challenging County Commissioner Al French this year. Bonnie Mager was in our studio last month, and this month we meet Mary Lou Johnson.

French is a current commissioner, and Mager was commissioner until French beat her in 2010. Johnson brings a solid background in criminal justice, and knowledge of county programs. She worked as an attorney in Spokane then for a federal district court judge for 17 years.

Northwest Lawmakers Likely Not In Running For House Majority Position

June 12, 2014, 7:00 am

The surprising upset Tuesday for House Majority leader Eric Cantor has the GOP looking for a possible successor. Pundits are already throwing a few names around as possible replacements, including two Northwest lawmakers who have prominent roles in the House Republican leadership. But neither is likely to seek a promotion.

Victim in Oregon School Shooting Identified As 14-Year-Old Emilio Hoffman

June 11, 2014, 6:25 pm

Police in Troutdale Oregon have released the name of the student shot and killed by a gunman at Reynolds High School today. He was 14 year old freshman Emilio Hoffman. Police Chief Scott Anderson says Hoffman’s family has a difficult road ahead.

Bergdahl’s Hometown Asks Media, American Public For Some Space

June 11, 2014, 5:46 pm

A county commissioner in Blaine County, Idaho, is asking critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to give Bergdahl's hometown some space. That includes members of the media. The commissioner says the town of Hailey is tired of being the target of people’s “misguided rage” over the former POW.

Elections Officials Attend Conference in Spokane

June 11, 2014, 5:44 pm
Washington State election directors are attending a conference in Spokane this week. Among the topics, possible replacement of current computer systems that track voter registration in the state’s 39 counties.

38 Oso Slide Legal Claims Filed Against State Of Washington, More Expected

June 10, 2014, 5:43 pm

The deadly Oso landslide in March has resulted in a blizzard of legal claims against the state of Washington. As of Tuesday, the state’s risk management office reports it has received 38 tort claims – these are precursors to a lawsuit. Claims have also been filed against Snohomish County.

New Washington Laws Cover College Aid, Guns and Tanning

June 10, 2014, 5:00 pm

This is the week undocumented students in Washington will become eligible for state college tuition aid. The “Real Hope Act” is just one of dozens of new state laws that take effect Thursday - 90-days after the Washington legislature adjourned.

‘Awareness’ No Longer The Issue For Bergdahl’s Network Of Supporters'

June 10, 2014, 4:45 pm

The parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl issued a statement through social media Monday. Bob and Jani thanked the people who have supported them for nearly five years as they waited for their son to be freed from Taliban captivity. Bergdahl's broad network of online supporters continue to back the POW amidst a raging debate about whether Bergdahl deserted.

Moses Lake Tax Evader Can't Evade Prison Time

June 10, 2014, 4:45 pm
A Moses Lake insurance agent and financial advisor has lost his fight to overturn his conviction for tax evasion. 51-year old J. Scott Vrieling was convicted in 2012 by a Spokane federal court jury for failing to file federal income taxes for 2004 through 2007.

Botanists Read the Tree Leaves For Climate Change

June 10, 2014, 4:11 pm
Douglas firs are everywhere in Washington and Oregon. They are the keystone for the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest. And now, climatologists see a new role for the ubiquitous conifers - as early warning canaries in the coal mine of climate change.

Idaho Rep Urges Politicians To Hold Off On Criticizing Bergdahl

June 10, 2014, 3:43 pm

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is calling on fellow politicians to avoid “escalating the rhetoric” around Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Labrador is a Republican. He made the comments at a panel discussion hosted by the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday in Washington D.C.

Officials Say The Weapon Was A Rifle

June 10, 2014, 3:41 pm

Officials say a lone shooter killed one student and injured a teacher at Reynolds High School this morning.  The shooter is also dead. Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said authorities have tentatively identified the gunman, but aren't ready yet to release the name.

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