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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.

Northwest News Network (N3) - NEWS HERE

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

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.

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.

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.

VA to Investigate Washington, Oregon Healthcare Facilities

June 9, 2014, 5:00 pm
Fallout from the Veterans Affairs Department healthcare scheduling scandal is rumbling through the Spokane VA hospital and eight other facilities in Washington and Oregon. As a result of a system-wide audit of VA practices in scheduling patients, the Veterans Health Administration has flagged nine health facilities in Washington and Oregon - including Spokane - for further investigation.

Homeless Population on Rise in Spokane

June 9, 2014, 4:45 pm
The population of homeless people in Spokane grew by 12-percent over the past year. New numbers from the annual point in time homeless count show Spokane is home to about 1,100 homeless people. Mayor David Condon says while the number increased overall, certain populations of homeless decreased.

Spokane Utility Reacts to EPA Carbon Targets

June 9, 2014, 4:45 pm
The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced specific targets that states will need to meet in reducing carbon emissions by the year 2030. For Washington State, it’s an ambitious goal of a 72 percent reduction.
The overall nationwide goal set by EPA is a reduction in carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030. 

Phone-App Provides Lifts in Spokane, Without Business License

June 6, 2014, 3:53 pm
Two national ride-share companies opened in Spokane in March, and the nationwide debate that follows them is just gassing up in Spokane. The companies Lyft (lift) and Uber are technically phone-apps, in which people request a ride and are picked by a driver using their own vehicle.

Cowan Races Against Baumgartner for Spokane Senate Seat

June 2, 2014, 6:30 am
Film producer Rich Cowan has entered the race for Washington state Senate. As part of our series on candidates in the November election, we meet Cowan, a Democrat focused on stimulating the job market. He’s running against Republican incumbent Michael Baumgartner.

Age Discrimination Lawsuit Leaves Wounds In Seniors-Only Retirement Haven

May 31, 2014, 8:30 am

When you approach your golden years, who doesn't look forward to peace and quiet surrounded by a supportive community? That desire led some retirees to relocate to a tiny town deep in the woods of southwest Washington. Ryderwood bills itself as the nation's first seniors-only retirement village. But the tranquility that lured people there went missing during a long and divisive lawsuit.

Fighting Public Welfare Fraud In Washington Keeps Investigators Busy

May 30, 2014, 5:00 pm

Fraud investigators in Washington say they expect to announce a major case of public welfare theft next month. This small team of fraud-fighters was created three years ago after a series of media reports highlighted serious misuse of public benefits.

Gorge Amphitheater In Violation Of State Health Regulations

May 30, 2014, 5:00 pm

One of the largest concert venues in the Northwest is in trouble with the Washington Health Department. The Gorge Amphitheater turns into a small city during summer music festivals like Sasquatch and Paradiso. But in a warning letter this week, health officials told concert producer Live Nation that its waste water practices are inadequate and could pose a threat to public health and the environment.

Wildland Firefighting Recruits Undergo Tough Training

May 30, 2014, 4:45 pm
The State of Idaho, two indian tribes and two federal agencies are teaming up next week to train a new cadre of wild land firefighters. With the advent of the summer wildfire season, the agencies responsible for fighting the fires must bulk up their employee rolls. Next week, somewhere between 80 and a hundred aspiring fire fighters will gather at Camp Lutherhaven on the west side of Lake Coeur d' Alene for a five-day basic training course.

Submerged Wave Energy Generator On Track For 2014 Deployment Near Astoria

May 30, 2014, 4:45 pm

A Salem, Oregon-based engineering company says it is close to deploying the first submerged wave power generator on the West Coast. M3 Wave Energy Systems plans a temporary deployment late this summer in shallow water off the northern Oregon Coast.

Oregon Lawmakers Debate The Balance Between Privacy And Public Safety

May 30, 2014, 6:30 am

Oregon lawmakers are wading into the debate on the balance between personal privacy and public safety. Advocates on both sides weighed in on the issue before an Oregon Senate panel Thursday. A slate of potential bills would limit the way law enforcement can access digital data such as that found on a cell phone or computer.

Volume 2014: Bigger Bands, More Variety, Spokane Scene

May 29, 2014, 5:00 pm
The music festival in Spokane this weekend has sold out for the past two years. This year, a band on a big-time label will play. And, the Seattle Weekly dedicated an entire article to the event. Volume has become a must for music fans in Spokane and beyond.

Three in Spokane Arrested For Murder In Death of Man Found in Idaho

May 29, 2014, 5:00 pm
Spokane Police have arrested three people for murder in connection with the death of a man who went missing a year ago. The victim, 32-year-old Mark Broadwater, went missing last June. His body was found across state lines in Kootenai County, Idaho earlier this month. The case has been sealed since then to protect the investigation.

More than 100 Police Sue Over Use of Force Policy

May 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Dozens of Seattle police officers have filed a legal complaint against city and federal officials. The officers say a new policy that dictates how police can use force restricts their constitutional rights to protect themselves. Lisa Battalia is a spokeswoman for the officers.

Deputy Prosecutor Haskell Running for County Prosecutor

May 28, 2014, 5:00 pm
Last week, we introduced you to a private attorney who is running for Spokane county prosecutor. This week, we take a look at his opponent, the current Deputy Prosecutor for the county. Larry Haskell has worked in the county prosecutors office since 1998, minus a three year stint in the Air Force following 9-11.

Spokane to House Second Basic Police Academy in Washington

May 26, 2014, 5:00 pm
For the first time in five years, hopeful police officers will be able to complete their full training in eastern Washington. Police leaders announced last week that the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy is to be reestablished in Spokane.

El Nino Awakening After Long Hiatus

May 23, 2014, 4:45 pm
Members of an obscure state agency - the Water Supply Availability Committee - thought their work was done last week after hearing about a late winter onslaught of snow, meaning normal snowpacks and good spring runoff. But, they reckoned without a revived El Nino.

Northwest Wine Experts’ Picks For That Long-Weekend BBQ

May 23, 2014, 4:45 pm

Photo courtesy of Great Northwest Wine.  Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue edit Great Northwest Wine.The Northwest is quickly becoming world famous for high-quality wine. Lucky us, we live here. For your long weekend, correspondent Anna King rooted some Northwest wine experts out of their cellars. She wants to know what’s splashing into their glass over the holiday.


Contamination Leads Portland To Issue Water Boil Order

May 22, 2014, 5:52 pm

The city of Portland has issued a boil water notice for all Portland Water Bureau customers. Until further notice, all customers should boil all tap water used for drinking, food preparation, tooth brushing and ice. The water should boil for at least one minute.

2015 Defense Budget Passed By House Preserves A-10 Jets Based In Idaho

May 22, 2014, 5:00 pm

Airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard's 124th Fighter Wing trained with the A-10 in March. Photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur.The U.S. House today rejected the Pentagon's plans to retire aging ships and planes. The bipartisan vote on a defense spending blueprint for next year saves a fleet of attack jets flown by the Idaho National Guard out of Boise. The fate of that air wing provides another example of how hard it is to cut the defense budget.


Washington Supreme Court: Employers Must ‘Reasonably’ Accommodate Religious Practices

May 22, 2014, 7:00 am

Washington employers must “reasonably” accommodate the religious practices of their employees. That’s the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court Thursday in a case that split the justices five to four. The case involves four men employed by a company that makes meals for airline passengers at Sea-Tac.

Long, Warm Summer On Tap According To Weather Service Outlook

May 21, 2014, 5:30 pm

On the subject of the weather, you're probably most interested in how the upcoming holiday weekend will turn out. But on the brighter side, an updated seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service calls for a long, warm summer.

Idaho City Narrowly Upholds Gay Rights Law In Closely Watched Vote

May 21, 2014, 5:00 pm

An effort to overturn one Idaho city's gay rights ordinance appears to have failed – but narrowly. The anti-discrimination law in Pocatello was upheld Tuesday night by a projected margin of 90 votes. City councils in seven Idaho cities have barred employers, landlords and most businesses from discriminating on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Clover Sprouts Causing Illness in Northwest

May 21, 2014, 5:00 pm
Health officials have advised people not to eat clover sprouts until further notice because of a possible link to E. coli. 10 people have become ill from E. coli in Washington and Idaho since May 1st, and half of them were hospitalized.

Inslee’s Judicial Appointees Virtually Unopposed On Ballot

May 20, 2014, 5:30 pm

The Washington Supreme Court has its first openly gay, Asian-American, Latina justice. Former King County Superior Court Judge Mary Yu was sworn-in Tuesday. Yu will run in November to finish out the term of retiring Justice Jim Johnson. Like a lot of appointed judges this year, Yu faces no opposition on the ballot.

Oregon Member of Congress Wants to Trash Reports

May 20, 2014, 5:00 pm
In the name of oversight, Congress demands thousands of reports each year from hundreds of federal agencies. But at least one Oregon member of Congress thinks it's silly to waste money on reports that are often never read, much less acted upon.

Boulder-White Cloud Protection Plan Called Snake-Oil Medicine

May 20, 2014, 4:45 pm
A well-organized and financed drive to create a national monument in Idaho's scenic Boulder-White Clouds backcountry is generating some push-back from a grassroots group. Patrick and Jenny Seefried live in MacKay Idaho on the eastern boundary of the proposed 570,000 acre national monument. They're opposed to any new protections for the rugged area.

Weddings Begin As Oregon Judge Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

May 20, 2014, 6:30 am

Shortly after noon, the news broke to crowds gathered in Portland:

Jeana Frazzini: "It's a win!"

And not long after that, same-sex couples started getting married. This ceremony featured two long-time partners in Eugene.

Wedding official: "By the power vested in me by the state of Oregon, I declare you married and partners for life. You may seal your vow with a kiss."

Emergency and Law Enforcement Staff Prep for Train Derailment

May 19, 2014, 5:30 pm
Train derailments are not common in Spokane- the last major one happened in 1991. But in preparation for the worst, emergency managers did an exercise Monday to practice responding to a train derailment that involves hazardous materials.

Beggs Enters Race for County Prosecutor

May 19, 2014, 4:45 pm
The local race for Spokane county prosecutor includes a man who has worked as a lawyer for the past 24 years, who says it’s  time serious reforms of the system takes place. Breann Beggs says it’s time the status quo in the county justice system be shaken up.

Bear Feeding Case Will Go To Court In A First For Washington

May 19, 2014, 4:23 pm

A 70-year-old woman has been criminally charged for allegedly feeding bears at her house on Washington's Long Beach peninsula. This is believed to be the first time someone has been prosecuted under a relatively new law against feeding large wild carnivores. The accused woman denies the charges.

Judge's Ruling Clears The Way For Same-Sex Weddings In Oregon

May 19, 2014, 4:22 pm

Same-sex couples can now marry legally in Oregon. A federal judge today overturned the state's ban on gay marriage. Weddings began almost immediately. County clerks in Oregon started issuing marriage licenses minutes after U.S. District Judge Michael McShane issued his opinion.

Pocatello Vote Seen As Test Of Gay Rights Measures In Idaho

May 19, 2014, 4:20 pm

Now, to a very small election that could send a big message in Idaho … Voters in Pocatello in southeast Idaho are deciding the fate of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance Tuesday. Pocatello one of seven cities in Idaho that have passed laws aimed at protecting gay, lesbian, bi and trans people. But this is the first time one of these measures has been put to a popular vote.

New Northwest-Developed Organic Fertilizer Not As Smelly, Popular With Farmworkers

May 17, 2014, 7:30 am

Eric Peterson is a produce clerk at the Redmond, Wash. PCC, he loads some leafy greens into the Harvester. Photo by Anna King.When you think organic you probably visualize fresh, sweet-smelling veggies and fruit. But it turns out that really good for you stuff, is grown in some pretty foul fertilizer. In fact it’s so bad it’s been known to make farmworkers gag. Now, there’s one new sweeter-smelling organic option developed right here in the Northwest.


Northwest Mirrors National Shift Away From Single Family Homes

May 16, 2014, 5:12 pm

New housing starts are a key economic indicator. But not all new houses are created the same. A new report issued Friday shows that Oregon and Washington are following a national shift away from single family homes towards more apartment complexes.

Parents Asked For, Now Can Learn About, ‘Option Schools’

May 16, 2014, 5:10 pm
Spokane will have its first charter school, Pride Prep, in 2015. It’s a major talking point among teachers and parents, but charters are just the tip of the iceberg for options in Spokane Public Schools. The district wants all parents to know the options, and is hosting a public meeting Monday.

Text-to-911 Coming, But Dispatchers Much Prefer Voice Calls

May 16, 2014, 4:45 pm

This week, the four biggest mobile carriers met a voluntary deadline to be ready to allow consumers to text to 9-1-1. But don't try that in an emergency just yet. 9-1-1 dispatchers in the Northwest don't have the capability to receive your text for help. The necessary upgrades are coming slowly all around the country.

Carfax For Candidates? Non-Profit Offers Politician Background Checks

May 16, 2014, 4:45 pm

It’s an mid-term election year. Even so, some 300 candidates are vying for 162 local, state and federal positions in Washington state alone. So who are these would-be officeholders and what kind of troubles may they have had in the past? Formal background checks for candidates are not a part of the typical vetting process. But a former candidate wants to change that.

No Same Sex Marriages In Idaho Friday After Court Issues Temporary Stay

May 16, 2014, 7:00 am

Same sex marriages will not take place in Idaho Friday morning. Earlier this week a federal judge ruled that Idaho’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional and set the ruling to go into effect at 9:00 a.m. Friday. But Thursday a higher court surprised many by placing a temporary stay on that.

Bill Would Dilute Federal Control of National Forests

May 15, 2014, 5:00 pm
Two Republican members of Congress - one from Oregon, the other from Washington - want to give counties veto power over national forest travel restrictions. A bill written by Oregon Congressman Greg Walden and cosponsored by Spokane-area Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers would strip the U.S. Forest Service of the power to write and enforce rules for motorized access to national lands.
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