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Wash Gov. Speaks At Nuke Plant
4:59 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire Visits Southcentral Washington’s Nuke Plant To Celebrate Its Relicensing

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire speaks at the ceremony to mark the relicensing of the Columbia Generating Station.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is celebrating the new license that allows the Columbia Generating Station to run for another 20 years. She spoke at a ceremony to hundreds of the plant’s employees Thursday. The southcentral Washington reactor is run by Energy Northwest. It’s the only commercial nuclear power plant in the Northwest. Gregoire says the Columbia Generating Station has little to do with the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s legacy of waste.

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NW Nuke Plant Relicensing
4:19 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Northwest's Only Commercial Nuclear Plant Celebrates Relicensing

Hundreds of Energy Northwest employees stepped outside for a celebration of the Columbia Generating Station nuclear power plant’s re-licensing.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Hundreds of employees of the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant celebrated Thursday. The Columbia Generating Station now is licensed to run for another 20 years. Correspondent Anna King was there.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the new 20 year license. That means the plant in southeast Washington will send up plumes of steam, visible for long distances across the desert until 2043. It took employees 5 years to finish the application process. Carl Adrian heads the Tri-City Development Council. He says the plant is an important employer here, but it’s more than that.

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University of Idaho Fooball
6:47 am
Thu May 24, 2012

University Of Idaho Weighing Options For Football Program

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis says the university continues to weigh all of its options regarding the future of its football program. Northwest Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.

In the volatile world of intercollegiate football conferences, the issue for some schools remains: where will they be playing in the future? The Western Athletic Conference, for example, has seen several football programs leave for other conferences, leaving the University of Idaho and New Mexico State behind. The UI is looking at its options, according to President Duane Nellis.

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Moscow Intermodal Transportation
6:45 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Moscow's New Intermodal Transit Center Part of Sustainable Development Trend

University of Idaho and City of Moscow officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a new $2 million Intermodal Transit Center on the Palouse. The facility will be located on the east end of the university campus and serve as a hub for regional buses, taxis, and other transportation services. This is UI President Duane Nellis.

Nellis: “This type of facility is something that I think is important for our community, that is a community that we are looking to grow in a quality way, toward sustainable development.”

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Longview Coal Terminal
6:43 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Longview Considers Coal Exports At Former Aluminum Plant

Residents of Longview, Wash., want to see a new industry take over the old Reynolds aluminum smelter site south of town. But they disagree over whether a proposed coal export terminal will be a good fit. Cassandra Profita reports.

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Cell Phone Tax
6:39 am
Thu May 24, 2012

How A Lobbyist And His iPad Helped Stop A Telephone Tax

Washington's cable industry created a series of ads to appeal to people who get their phone through broadband cable.
Photo by Kevin Mooney Northwest News Network

It’s no secret that interest groups influence state lawmakers. But it’s not often clear how that actually happens. Much of the action occurs behind-the-scenes. So we’re going to give you a rare glimpse inside the influence game -- to see how lobbyists help shape public policies that affect our everyday lives. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reconstructs how a lobbyist and his iPad changed the course of a $1 billion piece of legislation.

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WSU Develop New Battery Tech.
5:39 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

WSU Researchers Patent Longer Battery Life Technology

WSU's Grant Norton says using tin in lithium ion batteries could keep many electronic devices running much longer.
Photo courtesy WSU

Researchers at Washington State University say they've found a way to keep lithium batteries charged three times longer. These are the batteries used in laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles. The key ingredient in the new battery design is tin, as a replacement for carbon, which is more common.

The research is lead by engineering professor Grant Norton. He says the improvements could keep many electronic devices running much longer.

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Oregon Corrections Layoffs
5:24 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Scale Back Corrections Layoffs

Oregon lawmakers have been pressing state agencies to cut back the ranks of middle managers. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to do that.
Photo credit: Chris Lehman The Oregon Department of Corrections

Oregon lawmakers have been pressing state agencies to cut back the ranks of middle managers. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to do that. But they scaled back a proposed round of layoffs at prisons because of safety concerns.

The Department of Corrections had submitted a budget-cutting plan to eliminate 81 positions, including more than 50 prison lieutenants. Lawmakers instead told the agency to scrap just 21 jobs by this summer. House Democratic leader Tina Kotek said the original proposal was too much, too soon.

Tina Kotek: "I am concerned about the safety issues within the system by reducing the number of supervisors. It's a challenge of safety for the staff, safety for the inmates."

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520 Bridge
5:16 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

520 Bridge Workers Caught Drinking On The Job

Wednesday morning KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job.
Photo credit: Jelson25 Wikimedia Commons

KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job. Washington State Department of Transportation is launching an investigation looking into the details.

KOMO’s story caught employees walking into work carrying two twelve packs of beer on a Friday afternoon. Hidden cameras also showed several workers swigging back bottles of beer at their desks, allegedly during work hours.

The workers are employees of KGM, a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson. The company won the bid to design and build the 520 floating bridge. The contract is worth $586 million.

WSDOT Communications Director Steve Pierce says the company is highly regarded. He isn’t worried about the quality of their work.

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Reward For Grizzly Killer
4:40 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Killer Of Grizzly Mother And Cub Sought

A female grizzly bear & family rambles through Yellowstone National Park.
Photo credit: Kim Keating U.S. Geological Survey

Idaho state and federal officials are searching for whoever killed a female Grizzly bear and her cub. Grizzly bears are a federally protected Endangered Species.

The incident occurred north of the town of Bonners Ferry on Hall Mountain. The animals were discovered on Friday by a hiker.

Idaho Fish and Game Spokesman Phil Cooper says it’s not known if a hunter mistook the Griz for a black bear, shot it, and then noticed the cub, “and then approached the animal , saw it had a cub with it and panicked, or whether it went through their mind that this animal is going to starve, I’m going to shoot rather than let it starve, who knows”.

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