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Hanford Delays
6:33 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Wash. Officials Shocked By Energy Secretary’s Hanford Remark

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Photo credit: C-SPAN Image courtesy of C-SPAN

PASCO, Wash. – Washington state officials are reacting negatively to the possibility that there might be a delay to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s massive waste treatment plant. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu raised that prospect in comments last week.

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Washington Budget Cuts
5:45 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Public Health Official: More State Cuts Could Delay Disease Warnings

Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

WaOLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington legislature has three weeks to rebalance the state budget. One way House Democrats propose to do that is to eliminate a series of payments that currently go to cities and counties. That proposal emerged Tuesday. Reaction from local governments was swift.

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Free Speech
5:34 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Stiffen Penalties For Funeral Misconduct

The Oregon State Capitol Building in Salem, Oregon.
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Aboutmovies Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers are trying to crack down on bad behavior at funerals. The state House voted Tuesday to increase the penalty to up to a year in jail for disorderly conduct within 200 feet of a funeral service.

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Financial Proposal
5:08 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Wash. House Democrats Roll Out Budget; No General Tax Increase

Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Jay8g Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Majority Democrats in the Washington state House have unveiled a plan to rebalance the state’s budget. The spending blueprint released Tuesday does not call for a general tax increase. But it would delay a massive payment to public schools. It also relies on savings from reduced demand for state services.

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Health Care
4:59 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Madigan Investigates PTSD Diagnosis Problems

Madigan Army Medical Center located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.
Photo Credit: Madigan Army Medical Center PA Public Affairs Office Madigan Army Medical Center

The head of Madigan Army Medical Center south of Tacoma has been removed from his post. The administrative action comes as the Medical Center investigates whether soldiers had their diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder reversed to reduce the cost of a medical retirement.

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Fuel Costs
3:59 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Higher Gas Prices Expected After Refinery Fire

Northwest motorists could be paying more for fuel after the fire at the Cherry Point Refinery.
Photo credit: Wikimedia User ComputerGuy890100 Wikimedia Commons

The Cherry Point refinery in Washington usually produces 225,000 barrels of gas per day. Owners, BP, says the plant could resume production soon. But Marie Dodds of Triple A Oregon and Idaho, thinks prices could increase as a result.

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Columbia River Care
8:02 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Davy Crockett Oil Spill and Cleanup Was Preventable

The 433-foot flat deck barge Davy Crockett continues disassembly on the Columbia River, Wash., Ore., border on May 20, 2011. Metal is cut away from the floating stern section, and transferred to barges to be hauled away.
Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler U.S. Coast Guard

COUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and its contractors spent 10 months and $22 million last year removing the Davy Crockett from the Columbia River. The barge had broken apart during a botched salvage job, spilling oil and PCBs into the river.

Workers removed more than 38,000 gallons of oil from the ship. The cleanup was declared a success. But an EarthFix investigation has found that government officials could have prevented the oil spill and the need for a multi-million dollar cleanup.

Bonnie Stewart has the story.

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Non-Native Fish
7:43 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Slowing the Northern Pike Population Expansion

Large northern pike captured in Box Canyon Reservoir in 2008.
Photo source: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Non-nativSPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The northern pike population has exploded in eastern Washington’s Box Canyon Reservoir. These non-native fish have gone from a few hundred to around 10-thousand over the past five years. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, the increasing numbers can damage native fish populations, like salmon and steelhead.

Throw your line out in Box Canyon Reservoir, and you’ll likely find a northern pike on the other end. Over the past several years, the northern pike population has increased so rapidly that it’s hard to catch anything else.

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Support For Education
6:46 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Union, School Supporters Rally In Salem

Oregon State capital building.
Photo Credit: Dual Freq Wikimedia commons

Hundreds of school and labor supporters rallied at the Oregon Capitol today Monday to advocate for more state spending on education and social services. Rob Manning reports.

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Mountain Safety
6:38 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Air Bag Becoming Standard Equipment For NW Skiers

Skier Elyse Saugstad credits the ABS air bag with saving her life in an avalanche at Stevens Pass in Washington.
Photo courtesy of ABS-airbag.com Northwest News Network

The air bag credited with saving a woman from an avalanche at Stevens Pass is starting to become standard equipment for back country skiers in the Northwest. The expert skiers who seek the thrill of more remote areas are no strangers to signs of avalanches.

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