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Northwest News
7:36 am
Thu August 23, 2012

American Coal Companies Look To The Northwest For Export Opportunities Part Two

View of the waters near the Cherry Point refinery, the largest refinery in Washington state. Near the refinery is a proposed site to export coal.
Northwest News Network

American coal companies are looking to the Northwest as the fastest way to bring their product from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to Asian markets. There are now 5 ports in Washington and Oregon considering coal export terminals. In part two of our series on Coal in the Northwest we head to the site of what could one day be the largest coal export facility on the west coast, Bellingham, Washington. 

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Northwest News
7:24 am
Thu August 23, 2012

After a Wildfire, the Erosion Problem Begins

Fire bosses say a blaze in central Washington is 90 percent contained. That’s while large fires continue to burn in Idaho and California. Getting these wildfires under control marks the beginning of a new problem: soil erosion.

Extreme heat from wildfires destroys trees and ground cover. That means plants no longer keep soil from sliding down hillsides and into streams.

Residents near the Taylor Bridge Wildfire could see more sediment on roads and in creeks. They also might notice wind kicking up extra dust.

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Northwest News
7:17 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Panetta Visits U.S. Navy Troops in Bremerton



U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited U.S. Navy troops in Bremerton Wednesday. More than 2,000 sailors lined up on the decks of the USS John C. Stennis to listen to parting words from the Defense Secretary. The speech was a send-off for men and women who are scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East next Monday.

The sailors rocked from foot to foot waiting for Secretary Panetta to arrive. The crowd had mixed emotions about leaving.

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Legalizing Marijuana
6:36 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Marijuana: Safer Than Alcohol?

Is marijuana a safer drug than alcohol?
Chmee2 Wikimedia Commons

This fall, voters in Oregon and Washington will decide whether to legalize marijuana. Washington’s Initiative 502 would allow pot to be sold in state-licensed stores. So would Oregon’s Measure 80. But it would go one step further: The Oregon ballot measure would allow people to grow their own marijuana.

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Oregon Man Released
4:45 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Springfield Man Released From Sudanese Prison

Rudwan Dawod has been released from a Sudanese prison.
Sudan Sunrise

A Springfield, Ore., man who was imprisoned in Sudan has been released, and is trying to get home to his pregnant wife.

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ACLU Lawsuit Against Yakima
4:40 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

ACLU Lawsuit: Yakima At-Large City Council Elections Dilute Latino Vote

Lead plaintiffs Rogelio Montes (L) and Mateo Arteaga have filed a lawsuit against the City Of Yakima alleging at-large city council elections disenfranchise Latino voters.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The ACLU of Washington says at-large city council elections in the city of Yakima dilute the Latino vote and violate the federal Voting Rights Act. The ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the city.

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Taylor Bridge Fire
4:07 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Last Stretch Of Taylor Bridge Fire Hard To Contain

The last open stretch of the Taylor Bridge fire is in especially steep, rocky terrain.
Jessica Payne Washington Department of Natural Resources

Fire crews in central Washington say they’ll need a couple more days to contain the last 10 percent of the Taylor Bridge fire. The blaze near Cle Elum, Wash., is 90 percent surrounded by fire lines, with full containment expected by Friday. The last open stretch of wildfire is in especially steep, rocky terrain.

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Coal Terminals
6:20 am
Wed August 22, 2012

What Wyoming Coal Means For The Northwest: The View From Coal Country, Part I

A Wyoming coal mine.
Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management

There are now 5 ports in Washington and Oregon considering building export terminals to ship American coal to Asia. The coal would come from mines in Wyoming and Montana and would travel by train through the Northwest. That has governmental agencies, environmental groups, tribes, labor unions and industry in an increasingly fierce debate. As part of EarthFix’s ongoing coverage of coal in the Northwest, Ashley Ahearn brings us this story from Wyoming coal country.

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Seafood Consumption
6:15 am
Wed August 22, 2012

State Changes Course On Water Regulation

The Department of Ecology recently decided not to change the fish consumption rate in Washington. The rate is important because it drives regulatory standards for water quality. In other words how much seafood we eat determines how clean our water is.Indian tribes and environmentalists say the current rate is dangerously low. Lesley McClurg explains.

Jim Peters has been a longtime fisherman.

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Taylor Bridge Fire
6:11 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Firefighters Get Handle On Central Washington’s Taylor Bridge Fire

Trees burn in the Taylor Bridge Fire.
Photo courtesy Wash. Department of Ecology

Firefighters are getting a better handle on the Taylor Bridge fire burning in central Washington State. Fire crews say they have the fire 90 percent contained. So far the blaze has destroyed more than 50 homes and displaced many residents and livestock. Correspondent Anna King reports.

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