Solar-Powered Distilling
6:47 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Startup Seeks To Distill Solar-Powered Alcohol

A tequila sunrise.
Credit Leszek Leszczynski / Flickr

A new distillery in the Tri-Cities is hoping to solar power your alcohol.

The founders of Solar Spirits are planning to distill vodka, gin and eventually whiskey – they would become one of the first distilleries in the Northwest to use solar power. The group calls their process “craft tech.”

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Sewer Water Beer
4:53 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Company Wants To Turn Sewer Water Into Beer

Clean Water Services, a water treatment company in Oregon, has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water.
Credit Raymond Mcfee / Flickr

An Oregon water treatment company wants to turn sewer water into beer. But current state rules wouldn't allow anyone to drink it. 

Clean Water Services runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area. Some of its treated water is used for irrigation.

But spokesman Mark Jockers said the market for recycled wastewater doesn't have to end there.

His company has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. To show off that system, it wants to give some of its highly purified wastewater to home brewers.

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Women On Subs
5:27 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

USS Michigan First to Allow Female Enlisted On Board

A Sailor throws a heaving line to line handlers aboard the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan.
Credit U.S. Pacific Fleet / Flickr

The USS Michigan will be the first submarine to allow enlisted women to serve onboard. It’s part of the Navy's plan to have women doing 20 percent of the jobs on mixed gender submarines by 2020. The Michigan is an Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.

The Navy began allowing female officers on subs three years ago. Lieutenant Commander Brian Bandura says allowing enlisted woman is the next step in the Navy’s plan to a fully integrated submarine force.

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Wolf Population,
8:17 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Estimates Show Wolf Pairs In Idaho Nearing Minimum Requirement

Idaho biologists estimates there are between 15 and 25 breeding pairs of wolves in the state.
Credit Denali National Park and Preserve

Idaho biologists say the state’s wolf population likely continued its decline in 2014 -- and that may be because few of them are breeding.

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Sunday Baroque
7:42 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Sunday Baroque's Suzanne Bona On Making Music And A Show

Suzanne Bona
Credit Jeremy Kramer / Cincinnati Magazine

For more than 20 years, Sunday Baroque has explored the worlds of Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, and more. You can hear it on NWPR Sundays (of course) from 10 a.m to noon. It started at a station in Fairfield, Connecticut, grew to be carried nationwide, and in 2005 it went independent - parting ways with NPR to distribute and produce the show on its own.

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Nursing Home Closures
7:28 am
Thu January 22, 2015

In Rural Areas, Public Nursing Homes Close One By One

Alan Hole spends every single day visiting his wife at North Valley. If the facility closes, he says he'll have to move to stay near her.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

As the population ages and healthcare costs rise, rural nursing homes are particularly hard hit. Among the areas affected is the Okanagan Valley.

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Medical Marijuana Regulation
7:18 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Dispensary Owner And Iraq Veteran Patient Both Wary Of Medical Marijuana Regulation

Patrick Seifter owns Rainier Xpress marijuana dispensary in Olympia. He supports regulation, but is concerned that proposals under consideration in the legislature could put him out of business.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Thursday is Medical Cannabis Lobby Day at the Washington Capitol. State lawmakers say this is the year they will rein in the state’s “Wild West” medical pot industry.  But at least one dispensary owner fears he’ll go out of business as a result. And one of his customers – an Iraq War veteran - worries that regulation will price him out of his medication.

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Obama's Boise Visit
6:49 am
Thu January 22, 2015

President Obama Says Innovation Happening At Boise State Requires Public Investment

President Obama spoke to thousands of Idahoans Wednesday at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex at Boise State University.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama spoke for just over 30 minutes Wednesday at Boise State University, touting the proposals from his Tuesday State of the Union address aimed at helping the middle class.

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Hope Solo Suspended
6:46 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Star Soccer Goalie Hope Solo Of Seattle Suspended By U.S. National Team

U.S. soccer star Hope Solo.
Credit Nicole Miller / Flickr

Soccer star Hope Solo of Seattle has been suspended from the U.S. Women’s National Team and sent home from training camp.

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5:50 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Portland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

Lucid Energy installed four electric generators inside a Portland drinking water pipeline.
Credit Daniel Kulinski / Flickr

A Portland start-up is tapping a new source of renewable power inside the city's water pipes. The new system uses the power of gravity in the city's water pipes.

Lucid Energy has installed four small hydroelectric generators in a pipe that carries drinking water to the city. They will produce enough electricity to power 150 homes.

Company CEO Gregg Semler says this kind of hydropower doesn't disrupt fish or natural stream flows the way dams do. And it supplies a continuous source of renewable energy unlike wind and solar.

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