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Mapping While Driving
3:40 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

No More Texting, But What About Mapping While Driving?

Idaho has joined Oregon and Washington in outlawing texting while driving.
Photo credit: Kevin Mooney Northwest News Network

Beginning this summer, texting will be illegal for drivers across all three Northwest states. Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed a bill Thursday that outlaws texting while driving on Idaho roads. But in the age of the smartphone, text messages aren’t the only distraction on the tiny screen. Jessica Robinson looked into what else falls under the ban.

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Japanese Ghost Ship
3:34 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Coast Guard Watching Sheen After Sinking 'Ghost Ship'

Ryou-un Maru, the derelict fishing vessel sank at 6:15 pm in 6,000 feet of water.
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

The Coast Guard is watching for fuel and debris from a derelict Japanese fishing vessel it sank off the coast of Southeast Alaska on Thursday.

Kip Wadlow is with the agency’s public affairs office. He says all that was spotted was a small sheen. But he expected that to dissipate quickly.

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Democrat Defectors
6:07 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

One Month Later, Democrats’ Defection Still A Raw Nerve

Wash. Democrats: Senators Tim Sheldon, Rodney Tom and Jim Kastama are taking heat from fellow Democrats.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The three Washington Senate Democrats who broke from their caucus last month to vote with Republicans face renewed criticism from their fellow Democrats. At issue is whether to link a series of government reforms to a plan to rebalance the state budget.

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Orca Death Investigation
4:31 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Investigation Launched Into February Orca Death

There is an investigation into an orca that washed onto a Washington beach..
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Kalev Kevad Wikimedia Commons

Officials have launched an investigation into the death of a young female orca from a pod of the endangered marine mammals in Puget Sound. The orca washed up near Washington’s Long Beach in February. The cause of her death is controversial.

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Olympic Track&Field Trials
4:21 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Olympic Track And Field Trials In Eugene Expected To Sell Out

Hayward Field in Eugene is the site of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.
Photo credit: Wolfram Burner/ Flickr Northwest News Network

PORTLAND – Organizers of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials say they’re on track for a sellout for the eight day event in Eugene. Single day event tickets go on sale Friday morning. University of Oregon associate athletic director Vin Lananna predicts they’ll disappear fast.

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Spring Crops Springing
3:48 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Northwest Asparagus To Pop Up Within Days, Other Crops Springing Too

The Eastern Washington asparagus crop appears to be right on schedule.
Photo credit: lengmomo/ Flickr Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Northwest spring is getting off to a wet start. But Eastern Washington farmers report it appears to be right on schedule.

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Tri-Cities Growth
3:39 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

U.S. Census Numbers Show Tri-Cities, Wash. Is At the Top For Growth

Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco which comprise the Tri-Cities, are the fastest growing metro area.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Umptanum Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – Newly released U.S. Census numbers show the Tri-Cities, Washington, is the fastest growing metro area in the United States. The population increased 4.3% between 2010 and 2011. Jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, stable agricultural prices and the sun appear to be drawing more families to the Tri-Cities.

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Wolf Poaching
5:38 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Wash. Hunter Pleads Guilty To Wolf Poaching Conspiracy

Yearling wolf from the Lookout Pack in Okanogan County
Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest

TWISP, Wash. -- A Twisp, Washington man has changed his plea to guilty in a high-profile federal wolf poaching case. As part of a plea agreement, the 62-year-old man will not go to prison. The lack of jail time greatly disappoints a conservation group. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the story.

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Wash. Budget
6:01 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Wash. House Dems Unveil New Budget, Republicans Pan It

Washington House to vote on new budget Thursday.
Washington State

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington House Democrats have a new plan to rebalance the state budget and go home. The proposed spending blueprint unveiled Wednesday abandons a controversial delayed payment to school districts. But it would also leave less cash-on-hand in case of an emergency. Majority Leader Pat Sullivan says the House hopes to use the budget to kick start stalled negotiations.

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Oregon Medicade
5:02 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Care Groups Line Up To Receive Oregon Health Dollars

Oregon will change the way it handles medicade in the state.
Photo Credit: M.O. Stevens Wikimedia commons

The state of Oregon is getting a robust response from health care providers to re-shape the way Oregon provides medical services to low income people. Before a deadline this week, state health administrators received more than 50 proposals to create regional collaborations. The strategy is part of Governor John Kitzhaber’s so-called health-care transformation. Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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