Studded Tire Use
7:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Oregon Department Of Transportation Says Use Of Studded Tires Has Dropped Dramatically

The Oregon Department of Transportation says tires with metal studs cause millions of dollars in damage to highways each year.
Credit Kantor.JH / Wikimedia Commons


A perennial bill in the Oregon legislature is banning studded tires. Or taxing them because they chew up the roads.

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Mobile Home Regulation
7:19 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Mobile Home Rentals Fall Into Regulatory Gray Area

The owner of Evergreen Mobile Estates in Shelton, Washington, says she's providing affordable rental housing to low-income individuals and families.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Across the Northwest, some families will spend Christmas in rented mobile homes where the living conditions are marginal at best and dangerous at worst.

So who’s inspecting these manufactured homes? It turns out that they fall into a regulatory gray area.

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DOJ Spokane Police
4:50 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

DOJ: Spokane Not Excessive With Force; Troubled With Admin Problems

The US Department of Justice has found leadership was lacking amongst Spokane police for more than eight years. This came in a list of 42 recommendations handed down by the federal COPS program to the Spokane Police Department Friday.

The recommendations came after the police department requested a federal review of its use of force practices. It stems from a 2006 case, in which Spokane man Otto Zehm was beaten by police and died.

COPS Director Ron Davis says they reviewed more than 200 use-of-force cases from the past five years.

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Direct Primary Care
7:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

For Some Employers, A New Health Care Trend Means Healthier Employees

Mike Hoon leads a staff meeting at Emerald Care nursing home.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

There's a small but growing trend in healthcare--a trend where doctors are paid differently, so they can focus on a relationship with their patients, and where patients are able to see doctors without worrying  about the cost.

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Radioactive Water Filtration
7:53 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Richland Company Helps Treat Leaking Radioactive Water In Japan

Kurion's new water filtering system has arrived in Japan. It will help filter radioactive particles out of contaminated ground water at the earthquake-struck Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.
Credit Kurion

An environmental cleanup company with engineering headquarters in Richland, Washington, has just flown its second water treatment system to Japan with a massive plane.

It’s intended to treat thousands of gallons of radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

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Wine Shipping
7:49 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Polar Express For Grown-Ups: Washington Wine Shipments Frantic Before Holidays

Jim Kleist runs the west coast for a large wine and produce shipping company called RailEx. The Wallula, Washington, wine facility is as big as 11 football fields under one roof.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

For the Northwest wine industry this is crunch time. A massive rail and trucking facility in southeast Washington is pushing its final shipments out to arrive on store shelves before the New Year.

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Discrimination Suit
7:46 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Judge To Hear Arguments Against Florist Who Declined Gay Couple

The state of Washington is suing Richland florist Barronelle Stutzman for declining service to a gay couple.
Credit Alliance Defending Freedom

A closely watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments tomorrow in Kennewick, Washington.

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Washington Budget
7:42 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Washington Governor Proposes Capital Gains Tax On Wealthy

Washington Governor Jay Inslee unveils his budget proposal in Olympia, Wash. Thursday.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Oregon and Idaho have a capital gains tax. Now Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants to enact one. It’s part of a $1.4 billion tax package the Democratic governor proposed Thursday.

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Northwest Exports
7:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Northwest Exporters Eye New Opportunities In Cuba

Credit Clyde Robinson / Flickr

Northwest farmers and orchardists are among the potential beneficiaries if the U.S. and Cuba normalize their relationship and the trade embargo ends. They're better among many still trying to sort out what President Obama's announcement Wednesday of changes in Cuba policy mean for them.

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Dairy Nitrates
5:49 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Yakima Valley Dairies Try To Reduce Nitrate Pollution

Credit Tractorboy60 / Wikicommons

After a more than a year of testing, dairies in Washington’s Lower Yakima Valley are trying to reduce pollution from manure. A report from the Environmental Protection Agency had found the dairies were likely sources of nitrate pollution to nearby residential wells.

When nitrates contaminate drinking water, they can cause birth defects and miscarriages and harm the health of some adults.

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