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Hanford Cleanup
7:26 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Obama’s Budget Shifts Cleanup Focus At Hanford

President Barack Obama budgets $2.3 million for clean up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that would cut $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.
Credit AP Images

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016. But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. The President’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

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Julyamsh Canceled
5:15 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Popular Powwow Event Cancelled Due To Gambling Machines Conflict

The Julyamsh event was to be held at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls, where it’s taken place for the last 17 years.
Credit Shawn Gust / Associated Press

The popular Julyamsh Powwow, the largest such event in the Northwest, has been canceled this year in northern Idaho.

The Julyamsh event was to be held at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls, where it’s taken place for the last 17 years. But last month the tribe sent a letter to Idaho lawmakers, critical of instant horse racing gaming machines that are being allowed at several sites in the state, including at the Greyhound Park.

Tribal spokeswoman Heather Keen said the cancellation centers on that dispute.

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Washington Town Names
6:44 am
Mon February 2, 2015

The Name Game - Where Northwest Towns Got Their Names

Credit Jason Mrachina / Flickr

Why is there a Des Moines in Washington as well as Iowa? What does the word "Kennewick" really mean? What on Earth is a "Twisp," and why did it stop being Gloversville? We asked our Facebook fans to tell us the names of some Washington towns they wanted to know more about.

America's Two Des Moines

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Idaho Teacher Pay
6:38 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Why So Many Idaho Politicians Say It's Time To Raise Teacher Pay

St. Maries school superintendent Joseph Kren says he struggles to get enough applications for open teacher jobs.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Starting salary for Idaho teachers is lower than in Washington, Oregon, and three other surrounding states. Superintendents in Idaho border towns say that’s left them with shortages. Idaho lawmakers in both parties want to raise teacher salaries during the legislative session.

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Water Protection
5:18 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Feds Rule Oregon Not Protecting Coastal Waters From Logging

The Environmental Protection Agency told Oregon it needed to tighten regulations on its coastal water pollution plan.
Credit Anne Swoboda / Flickr

Federal regulators said Oregon is not doing enough to protect water quality in coastal areas. A ruling Friday could end up costing the state millions.

More than fifteen years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency told Oregon it needed to tighten regulations on nonpoint source, or runoff-related, pollution. Some changes happened, but not enough. Federal officials said Oregon’s logging rules still don’t do enough to protect fish habitat and drinking water.

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Mispronounced Names
3:14 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

How Do You Say That? Washington Edition.

Credit www.kevindemon.com

A while back, we asked our Twitter followers how they pronounce Boise, the capital of Idaho. Turns out Idahoans say Boise different than most people. 

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Deborah Voigt
6:56 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Deborah Voigt On Opera, Theater, And Body Image

Deborah Voigt performing "Annie Get Your Gun" in 2011.
Credit CSUF Photos / Flickr

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SeaWorld
5:44 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Preemptive Ban On Whale And Dolphin Performances Proposed

A Washington state senator wants to make it a crime for a zoo or aquarium in Washington to hold a wild-caught or captive-bred whale, dolphin or porpoise for purposes of entertainment or performance.
Credit Christian Benseler / Flickr

SeaWorld is famous for its choreographed dolphin and Orca whale performances. Now a Washington state lawmaker wants to make sure what happens at SeaWorld stays at SeaWorld. He introduced legislation to prohibit marine mammal shows in Washington.

Washington state Senator Kevin Ranker remembers visiting SeaWorld San Diego several years ago.

“It was a very powerful experience for me and not a positive one,” Ranker said.

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Cover Oregon
5:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Oregon Legislators to Shutter 'Cover Oregon'

The state's failed health insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, will be coming to an end.
Credit Cover Oregon

One of the first things legislators are expected to do when the session starts next week, is to put an end to 'Cover Oregon'. The state's failed health insurance exchange.

Speaking about the up-coming session, Democrats, Republicans and Governor John Kitzhaber all agree: 'Cover Oregon' is finished.

"What we'll simply be doing is folding the remaining functions of what was 'Cover Oregon' into the insurance division," Kitzhaber said.

The leader of the Senate Republicans, Ted Ferrioli, agreed.

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Wolves
5:04 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Oregon’s Wolves Reach Milestone Recovery Mark

Officials have confirmed 7 breeding pairs in Oregon compared to 5 pairs in Washington, and 11 pairs in Idaho.
Credit Kasey Myers / Flickr

Wolves in the eastern third of Oregon have reached a key milestone in the state’s recovery program. Officials have confirmed seven breeding pairs. It’s the third year in a row a healthy number of pups have survived. Those two indicators of a recovering wolf population trigger phase two in the state's wolf reintroduction plan.

Oregon’s wolf program coordinator Russ Morgan spoke Wednesday on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s talk show, Think Out Loud.  Morgan said one of the big takeaways is that ranchers can now kill wolves that are chasing livestock on their properties.

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