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Washington Legislature Special Session
5:20 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Wash. Legislature Adjourns; Special Session Starts Monday

Legislators and staff celebrate on the Senate floor after adjournment.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington legislature has adjourned. But not for long. Late Thursday night, Senate Democrats failed to muster the votes for a plan to re-balance the state budget. That means Washington lawmakers will return to the Capitol to finish their work. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

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Spokane Tribal Casino
5:16 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Spokane Tribe Moves Forward In Plans For Resort Casino, Amidst Opposition

SPOKANE -- The Spokane Tribe of Indians just received a list of federal guidelines for their proposed casino project in Airway Heights. Along with the document came a new round of opposition. Paige Browning has more.

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Rural School Aid
5:12 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Secure Rural Schools Amendment Passes US Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have secured their colleagues' support of several million dollars in aid to counties in timber country. As Oregon Public Broadcasting's April Baer reports, the Senate voted 86 to 12 in favor of an amendment to extend the Secure Rural Schools Act.

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Washington Legislature Special Session
5:09 am
Fri March 9, 2012

No Budget Deal; Wash. Governor Calls Special Session

Senator Margarita Prentice, with Lt. Governor Brad Owen at her side, prepares to gavel the 2012 regular session to a close.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are headed into special session after adjourning their 60-day regular session. The final gavels fell just after midnight Thursday night.

“The 2012 regular session of the 62nd legislature is adjourned sine die.”

Despite the celebration, majority Democrats failed to muster the votes for a plan to re-balance the state budget. That means they will return to the Capitol Monday for an extra inning. Our Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins filed this report overnight.

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Electric Car Fees
5:05 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Fee On Electric Cars In Wash. To Offset Unpaid Gas Tax

Electric car owner Dick Hauser lives in Olympia, WA.
Photo by Tom Banse Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Electric car owners in Washington state would pay a $100 fee under a measure headed to the governor's desk. The aim is to offset the gas taxes these drivers are not paying. The bill passed Thursday night in one of the final votes of this year's regular session of the Washington Legislature, as Tom Banse reports.

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Wash. Budget Deadline
5:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

On Last Day Of Session, Game Of Chicken Over Wash. Budget

With session closing legislators in Washington still have no budget deal.
Photo credit Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The clock is running out on Washington’s 60 day legislative session. Lawmakers must adjourn by midnight Thursday night. But they still haven’t passed a plan to re-balance the state budget.

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Washington Teacher Evaluations
4:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Governor Signs New Grading System For Teachers And Principals

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire supports the new teacher and principal evaluations.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Korribot Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Teachers and Principals in Washington are going to get graded on a new four-tier evaluation system. That’s under a new law signed by Governor Chris Gregoire Thursday. It’ll judge teachers as unsatisfactory, basic, proficient or distinguished. The new rankings will replace the current pass/fail format. The change is estimated to cost $5.3 million , but Gregoire says it’s necessary.

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WSU Student Journalist
3:42 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Journalism: College Students Filling In The Gap

Stephanie Schneidel, WSU Murrow College student, who wrote the story about militia movements that was featured on MSNBC.com
Photo Source: Daily Evergreen

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that for the third year in a row there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people taking part in militias and what it calls the American radical right. In a new report, the Center says the increase is linked to economic issues, conspiracy theories, and the election of Barak Obama as President.

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Meat Substitutes
6:13 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Real Or Fake? New Meat Alternatives Strive To Make It Hard To Tell

Turtle Island Foods founder Seth Tibbott examines freshly made Tofurky Italian sausages.
Phot by Tom Banse Northwest News Network

HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- Northwest-born Gardenburger and Tofurky are vegetarian alternatives to meat. They sell well, but they don't fool any meat lovers. This year, food companies from here and abroad aim to debut fake meat products that come closer than ever to mimicking the real thing. Dutch researchers claim they can grow hamburger in the laboratory from just a few bovine stem cells. But are people really craving a Petri-patty? Correspondent Tom Banse explores that question.

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Afghanistan Withdrawal
6:04 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Oregon And Washington Senators Want An Earlier Afghan Exit

U.S. Soldiers depart Forward Operating Base Baylough, Afghanistan, June 16, 2010, to conduct a patrol. The Soldiers are from 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment.
U.S. Army DoD photo by Staff Sgt. William Tremblay

All four U.S. Senators from Oregon and Washington and 20 of their colleagues are asking the Obama administration for an expedited end to the war in Afghanistan. Two Republicans and one Independent Senator are part of the group. Some Democratic Senators declined to sign the letter.

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