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Class Size Initiative
4:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Class Size Campaign Prepares To Do Battle With Washington Legislature

Credit Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington voters barely approved it in November. Now backers of an initiative to reduce class sizes are preparing to mount a new campaign. They have to convince lawmakers to fund the new law.

Initiative 1351 orders the state to reduce class sizes in kindergarten through 12th grade. The specific class size targets come from the state’s Quality Education Council.

But achieving them could require 25,000 new teachers and support staff over the next four years. Some lawmakers have called the initiative a “budget buster.”

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Seattle Seahawks
4:13 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Seattle Seahawks: The Internet Responds

Credit Seattle Seahawks / http://www.seahawks.com/

Seattle was home to what many are calling NFL history last Sunday when the Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 and secured their place in Super Bowl XLIX. Fans and news agencies alike bombarded social media with live updates, reactions, and the best of Photoshop. Even we got into the action:

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Idaho Public Salaries
7:02 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Idaho's Top-Paid State Employees Remain Coaches, University Officials

Boise State University's administration building.
Credit Boise State University

An annual accounting of Idaho government payroll shows the state last year paid $1.47 billion in salaries, taxes, healthcare and insurance costs.

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E-Cigarette Regulations
4:35 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Washington Legislature To Consider Ban on E-Cigs and Vaporizers

A Washington state senator received a tip that minors were buying e-cigarettes to modify them for use with marijuana.
Credit Joseph Morris / Flickr

A state senate committee will hear a proposal this week that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes and vaporizers to minors.

Last fall Senator Judy Warnick got a tip from a police officer from her district in Moses Lake. He noted students were buying e-cigarettes easily from one store in particular.

“…and then they were modifying them so they could use marijuana in those cigarettes,” Warnick said.

She said there wasn’t much he could do about it. There are no rules that prohibit selling e-cigarettes to minors.

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Northwest Ducks
9:50 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Love The Northwest? So Do Many Ducks

Credit Earl Blackaby

If you live near water, you probably live near ducks. You've likely seen them... and you've definitely heard them. They can be, well... pretty noisy.

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Weather and Climate
6:09 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

2014: Earth's Hottest Year On Record, Near Records In Northwest

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.
Credit Leveretdreaming / Flickr

2014 was the hottest year on record. That was according to data released Friday by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the Northwest, temperatures also rose above normal.

After a warm summer and winter, last year was the second hottest on record for Oregon and the fifth hottest on record for Washington.

The hottest year for both states is still 1934, when the Dust Bowl plagued the West.

Karin Bumbaco is the assistant state climatologist in Washington.

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Homeless Camps
7:55 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Seattle Homeless Camp Evictions Continue As Mayor Calls For More Legal Camps

A Seattle homeless camp's eviction notice.
Credit John Ryan / KUOW

The demand for shelter in Seattle is outstripping the supply, especially for those who need it most. Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan on Wednesday to put up three new tent cities for Seattle's growing homeless population. His task force on homelessness had recommended adding seven new locations. Even as Murray made his announcement, homeless people were being evicted from their camps on public property in Seattle.

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Tsunami Prep
7:30 am
Fri January 16, 2015

New School On Washington Coast To Provide Tsunami Refuge

Ocosta Elementary students wielded clam guns while adults guiding the new school/tsunami refuge project shoveled at the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Up and down the West Coast there are beach towns where it would be challenging to escape a tsunami. That's because high ground is out of reach assuming the roads are buckled or jammed after a great earthquake. Now one low-lying Washington coastal town in that predicament is doing something about it.

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Lakewood Police Killings
5:36 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Getaway Driver In Lakewood Police Shootings Wins New Trial

Dorcus Dewayne Allen drove Maurice Clemmons to and from the scene of the Thanksgiving weekend shooting at a coffee shop. He will receive a new trial.
Credit Ted S. Warren / AP Images

The getaway driver in the 2009 killings of four Lakewood police officers will receive a new trial. That was the unanimous decision Thursday of the Washington Supreme Court.

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Bird Flu
4:58 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Second Strain Of Avian Flu Arrives In Oregon

This strain of flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, like the Mallard.
Credit jlcummins / Flickr

Wildlife officials in Oregon say a mallard duck shot by a hunter near Eugene has tested positive for avian flu.

The strain of influenza is relatively common in Europe and Asia and has not caused any human sickness. The flu does not appear to cause illness in wild waterfowl, which have evolved with the virus. But it could kill falcons and hawks, as well as domesticated birds.

Oregon officials say they are not surprised this strain of avian flu has arrived in the state. Wild birds in Washington, California and Utah have also tested positive.

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