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Tracing Chemical Agents
6:31 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Northwest Scientists Discovering New Ways To Trace Chemical Weapons

Carlos Fraga, center, is a Ph.D. chemist for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Along with chemist Brian Dockendorff, left, and chemical engineer Gabriel Perez Acosta. He is trying to find ways to trace chemical agents back to their sources.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

President Barack Obama has been publicly warning Syria’s leaders not to use chemical weapons against their own people. The news is unexpectedly relevant in southeast Washington. Researchers at at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing new scientific techniques to trace chemical agents back to their sources.

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Cutting Prison Costs
6:05 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Oregon Governor Pushes Corrections Cost-Cutting

Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals.
Credit OPB News

Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals. The Democrat has included those savings in his next spending plan. But just how the state would save that much money is not yet clear.

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Improving Preschool
5:08 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Oregon Wins $20 Million In Federal Early Learning Funds

The federal money will help train preschool teachers and will set up a voluntary grading system for preschools.
Credit U.S. Department of Education website

Oregon learned Thursday it’s getting more than $20 million from the federal government to improve preschool education.

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Marriage Licenses
4:45 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

After 26 Years Together Gay Couple Pick Up Their Marriage Certificate In Eastern Washington

Linda McGregor, left, and Diane Marsh, have been together for 26 years. They shed tears on Thursday when they were able to pick up their Washington State marriage license.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

 On the first day of legal same-sex marriage in Washington, the scene was quiet at the Benton County Annex in Kennewick in southeast Washington. Workers sat at the ready to hand out marriage licenses, but only a few people showed up. But one couple that did got their paperwork after 26 years together.

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Warmer Winters
4:39 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Study: Climate Changes Hurts Winter Tourism

In years with less snow, roughly one-third fewer skiers visited resorts in the Pacific Northwest.
Credit Goleh / Wikimedia Commons

Warmer winters caused by climate change could make it more difficult to operate ski resorts in the Northwest. That’s according to a new study.

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Same-Sex Marriage Legalized
4:29 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

No Crowd As Same-Sex Couple Obtains Marriage License

Signs at the Thurston County Courthouse directed couples
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

In Washington’s capital city, the County Auditor was prepared for a rush on the day same-sex marriage became legal. Instead, it felt like business as usual.

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Tsunami Debris
6:23 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Lull Or Tail End Of Japanese Tsunami Debris?

Chuck Matthews (left) and Curt Hart of WA Dept. of Ecology consult about flotsam that -- like most found on Long Beach – is impossible to trace to a specific origin.
Credit Photo by Tom Banse

It’s been more than four months since the last confirmed piece of Japanese tsunami debris washed ashore on the Pacific Northwest coast. Even sightings of suspected disaster debris have tapered way off in recent months. Does that mean we’re just in a lull or past the worst of it? Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the coast.

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Arctic Oil Spill
6:20 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Congressman Seeks Answers In Arctic Oil-Spill Gear's Failure

A piece of oil-spill prevention equipment.
Credit Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (via KUOW Freedom of Information request)

Oil-spill equipment designed to support drilling in the Arctic Ocean was damaged badly in its first field test this fall in Puget Sound near Anacortes. A public radio investigation revealed just how badly. Now a top Congressman is seeking answers, too. Seattle correspondent John Ryan reports.

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Marijuana Legalization
6:15 am
Thu December 6, 2012

On Eve Of Legalization, Concerns About Pot Law Remain

At the stroke of midnight, adult marijuana users will no longer be lawbreakers in Washington. But lots of legal questions remain about how marijuana commerce will work, where it’s legal to use and how the federal government will respond.

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Coal Export Terminal
6:11 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Factual and Moral Questions Raised At Spokane’s Public Hearing About Coal Shipments

Hundreds of people attended Tuesday's public hearing in Spokane about a proposed coal export terminal in the Northwest. The meeting brought out strong emotions, and raised a moral question about how the hearings are run. Paige Browning reports the event focused on the proposed Gateway Terminal for Whatcom County, which would ship coal to Asia.

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