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Energy Secretary at Hanford
4:35 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Energy Secretary Might Get Hands-On With Hanford Plant

Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks in Richland, Wash.
CH2MHill Northwest News

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu fielded questions about safety at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Friday. He assured hundreds of workers listening in a Richland park that challenges in the massive cleanup of radioactive waste are getting attention at the highest level.

Secretary Chu said he’s really serious about wanting safety at Hanford. He’s particularly focused on the site’s $12 billion waste treatment plant, now under construction. It’s meant to stabilize 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

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Obama's Immigration Announcement
4:28 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Northwesterners Cheer, Jeer Obama's Immigration Announcement

President Barack Obama addresses the new Department of Homeland Security’s immigration policy.
The White House Northwest News Network

President Obama's announcement Friday that some young adults who came to this country illegally as children will get a reprieve from deportation has sparked strong reactions here in the Northwest.

Oregon and Washington groups opposed to illegal immigration strongly criticized the President's announcement. They said it was politically motivated. But those in the region who support an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws cheered.

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Rock Doc
7:12 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Victory Over The Angel Of Death

Dr. Kirsten Peters
Photo courtesy Washington State University

In a 1789 letter, Benjamin Franklin wrote: "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Well, it should interest you to know that death is no longer a certainty, at least for one species. The Rock Doc, Dr. Kirsten Peters, has the details.

"The gene for death has been isolated –and reversed- by scientists. Not a bad day’s work, you might say.

Sorry, it’s not the death of human beings that’s at issue. But it is a gene for death that’s embedded in a plant on which we all directly depend each day. And that’s good enough to be plenty encouraging.

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State Parks
6:32 am
Fri June 15, 2012

State Parks Forced To Get Creative, Wired To Survive

An iconic poster promotes a state park.
Photo courtesy Northwest News Network

A wi-fi connection and smart phone bar codes could be coming to a state park near you. Those are just two of the ideas under consideration as Washington State Parks tries to recruit a new generation of visitors. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins explains.

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Oregon Counties Federal Aide
5:45 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Northwest Oregon Counties In Line For Federal Aid, But Will There Be More?

Northwest counties receiving the highest PILT payments from the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2012.
DOI

Cash strapped county budgets got word Thursday, that their annual federal aid check is coming through. But as it stands, this year’s payments in lieu of property taxes could be the last of their kind.

Nearly every county in the Northwest receives at least some money based on their population and how much nontaxable public land is within their borders. The program, called PILT for short expires this year. It’s up to congress to reauthorize it.

Gil Riddell, Policy Coordinator for the Association of Oregon Counties, predicts that despite congressional gridlock, the counties won’t be left out to dry.

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NW Soldiers Killed
5:16 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Twelve JBLM Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan Since January

Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb is the 12th Washington based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year.
Northwest News Network

An Army combat engineer has become the 12th Washington based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year. The pace of deaths has picked up in recent weeks as the summer fighting season begins.

The Army says Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb was killed by an improvised explosive device. He was on his fourth deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.

McNabb is just the latest soldier from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord to die in Afghanistan. May was the deadliest month so far this year with six soldier deaths.

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Idaho Budget
4:49 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Idaho Budget Writers Tour U- Idaho, Other North Idaho Locations

U- Idaho illustration of proposed integrated science research facility
Northwest News Network

Members of Idaho’s state legislative budget committee are on a fact- finding tour of locations in north central Idaho this week.  The delegation is making the rounds in places like Moscow and Orofino, with the intent being to better understanding issues and budget requests that will come up in the next legislative session.

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Immigrant Driver's License
4:31 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Wash. A.G. Debate Touches On Immigration; Driver’s Licenses

To get a driver’s license, most states require proof of citizenship. But not Washington.
Ildar Sagdejev Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday’s debate between candidates for Washington Attorney General touched briefly on the issue of immigration. Specifically, they addressed whether the state should require citizenship checks for driver’s licenses.

It’s a question that’s getting renewed attention, as election season moves into full swing.

To get a driver’s license, most states require proof of citizenship. But not Washington.

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Oregon Boy Scout Case
4:06 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Oregon Judges Now Decide What Evidence To Release After Trial

In a far reaching opinion Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court gave judges the power to decide what evidence can and cannot be released to the public after a trial.

Several news organizations, including Oregon Public Broadcasting, sought a set of 1,200 files with the names of  Boy Scout staff who'd been accused of sexual abuse.

The files had been used as evidence during trial. But after that trial, Multnomah County Judge John Whitmire said the files could only be released if they were redacted.  Media organizations appealed, asking to see what the jury had seen.

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Western State Hospital
6:29 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Western State Hospital CEO Resigns

The head of Washington's largest psychiatric hospital is stepping down. Western State Hospital CEO Jess Jamieson announced his resignation to hospital staff Tuesday. The announcement came as the Tacoma-area hospital deals with the aftermath of two patients' violent deaths in April. KUOW's John Ryan has the story.

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