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UO Faculty Union
6:48 am
Tue January 31, 2012

University of Oregon Faculty Seek to Unionize

University of Oregon faculty hope to form a union for UO professors.
Another Believer Wikimedia Commons

University of Oregon faculty members are collecting signatures in an effort to establish a union. It would be comprised of all full and part time professors and instructors -- about 2,000 members. KLCC's Rachael McDonald has more.

The group United Academics of the University of Oregon has been gathering support for the union effort this month. But it's a process that began in the fall according to Michael Dreiling, an Associate Professor of Sociology.

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Washington Credit Rating
6:44 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Two Ratings Agencies Lower Wash. Credit Outlook

Standard and Poor's recently downgraded Washington State's credit outlook.
Beyond My Ken Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Two credit rating agencies have delivered a warning to the State of Washington to get its financial house in order. The ratings agencies lowered the outlook for Washington state debt, citing the magnitude of the budget shortfall. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Washington state is refinancing or selling more than $1 billion in bonds in the coming weeks. That's the reason Standard & Poor's (S&P), Moody's Investors Service, and Fitch Ratings revisited the state's credit rating.

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Captured Idaho Soldier
6:34 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Taliban Experts Predict Many Setbacks Before Idaho Soldier Comes Home

Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho was captured by Taliban forces in July of 2009. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.
U.S. Army

Negotiations to release an Idaho soldier in Taliban captivity will be a long and slow process. That’s according to Middle East experts following peace talks about Afghanistan. News reports over the weekend suggested negotiations over a ceasefire had broken down. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been held by the Taliban since July of 2009.
Videos released by his captors show the 25-year-old Army sergeant ragged and pleading to come home. And that's a feat negotiators are reportedly trying to accomplish through a prisoner swap.

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Oregon State Budget
6:30 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Will Tackle Revenue Shortfall In February Session

The Oregon Legislature will face lower revenues than expected this year.
Owen Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers return to Salem on Wednesday with a fiscal challenge on their hands. Expected revenues have fallen sharply since the legislature created the current spending plan last summer. As Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, Lawmakers expect to hear more bad news soon after they arrive back in town.

Oregon lawmakers plan to be at the capitol for about a month. One of the first things they'll do is get the latest predictions about the state's revenue picture.

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:23 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Gay Marriage Laws May Prevent Discrimination by Private Businesses

The Washington Legislature votes on legalizing gay marriage this week.
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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington appears poised to become the seventh state in the nation to allow gay marriage. Backers say they have the votes in the legislature. The law would exempt churches that oppose same-sex marriage. But not wedding-related businesses. Attorney Steve O’Ban highlighted this recently in testimony against the proposed law.

Steve O’Ban: “There’s no protection either for a small businesswoman for example who runs say a photography business or a printing company to decline to photograph or, say, print a wedding announcements for gay weddings, for reasons of faith.”

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Northwest Regional News
8:08 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Tolling Overcharges On Highway 520

Washington State transportation officials say they'll issue refunds after a glitch in the tolling system on the Highway 520 bridge caused drivers to be overcharged twenty-five cents.

Motorists who made the trip between Seattle and Bellevue from January seventeenth to twenty-fifth will get a refund, even those who were billed correctly. The twenty-five-cent transaction fee is charged for those who travel the bridge infrequently and pay by the license plate.

State officials say the billing problem was related to the toll equipment's internal clock.

State Budget
7:25 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Wash. Lawmakers Consider Budgeting Education First

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

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Northwest Regional News
7:21 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Wash. Lawmakers Consider Budgeting Education First

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For years, Republicans in the Washington legislature have demanded that state lawmakers vote on the education budget first. Democrats have generally rejected that idea. But this week, for the first time, a “fund education first” proposal will get a public hearing. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

What’s fueling the decision to consider the education budget first is a ruling earlier this month by the Washington Supreme Court. In McCleary v. Washington, the justices said state lawmakers are not adequately funding education.

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Senior Citizens
7:18 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Retirement Options Limited For Gay And Lesbian Seniors

PORTLAND - As gay and lesbian people age, their need for retirement options mirrors those of the general population. But they often face unique challenges, especially when it comes to finding housing. For instance, some active-living retirement facilities don't allow unmarried couples to live together. And some gay seniors fear a cold shoulder from staff or fellow retirees. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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High School
7:10 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Oregon Grad Rates Improve, But 1 in 3 Still Fall Short

Oregon's high school graduation rates inched up slightly last year. But as Rob Manning reports, thousands of young people who endure four years of high school don’t have a regular diploma to show for it.

67 percent of freshmen who entered high school in 2007, earned diplomas last spring, after four years in school. The other thirty-three percent are not all dropouts. Many of them got alternative diplomas, or GED's. But education experts say the goal should be to have as many students as possible earning the more rigorous, standard diploma.

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