Port Slowdown
6:08 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Port Backlogs Could Take Months To Clear

Dozen of ships are waiting to be offloaded at ports from Seattle to Long Beach.
Credit Aaron Parecki / Flickr

For the most part, work has resumed at ports along the West Coast.

Last week, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and their employers reached a tentative labor agreement for 29 West Coast ports.

Bill Wyatt is the executive director of the Port of Portland. He said dozen of ships are waiting to be offloaded at ports from Seattle to Long Beach.

“So this is going to create a mess that will take probably months to work out of,” Wyatt said.

Last week, pressure increased on both the union and employers to reach a deal.

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Wildlife Preservation
7:27 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Heed Those 'Closed Trail' Signs If You Want To Help Wildlife

Mule deer roam in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.
Credit EarthFix

Bluebird skies, warming temperatures, and snow-free terrain might have you itching to hike your favorite trail.

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Pasco Shooting
6:27 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Additional Facts Emerge In Pasco, Wash. Police Shooting

Lizbeth Castaneda, 12, left, and her friend, Elizabeth Patrick, 9, both of Pasco. The girls came out to join in the protest and march last Saturday. Patrick said she witnessed the shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes near a busy grocery store and was scared.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the Tri-Cities new facts emerged in the police shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes . Investigators said none of the three Pasco officers involved in the shooting were certified Spanish speakers. Latinos in Pasco have been protesting and calling for a federal investigation. 

Pasco is a farming town nestled snug into the confluence of the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers in southeast Washington. Onion peels flit like butterflies along the highways. But the shooting of a Latino man by Pasco police last week has thrust this fast-growing town into the national spotlight.

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Pasco Shooting
7:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Pasco Shooting: Some Tri-City Latino Community Members Say Feds Must Investigate

Protesters gather at the site of a police shooting.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

Some Latinos in the Tri-Cities are renewing their call for a federal investigation into last week’s Pasco police shooting. They talked with the press outside a Kennewick police media briefing yesterday.

Felix Vargas of the Pasco business group Consejo Latino says he’s meeting with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington next week. Vargas says he doesn’t want just the neighboring town of Kennewick’s police to conduct the investigation into the death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes last week.

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Eagle Celebration
7:00 am
Fri February 20, 2015

20th Annual Eagle Celebration Set For This Weekend

The 20th Annual Eagle Celebration runs Saturday and Sunday at Round Butte State Park.
Credit AP Images

When the annual Eagle Watch event began twenty years ago, eagles were in danger of extinction. Today, the birds of prey are thriving in many parts of the Northwest and have been removed from the Endangered Species List.

Colder weather forecasted for the weekend makes for better eagle-watching, says state park ranger Erin Bennett.

"They actually have over 7,000 feathers on their body," Bennett says. "When it's cold and windy that seems to be the time that they like to be out there. They're really visible and they do mate for life so you often see pairs flying together."

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Standardized Tests
6:01 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Idaho Bill Would Let Parents Opt Their Kids Out Of Standardized Test Requirement

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Idaho parents who don’t want their child to have to pass the state’s standardized test for graduation would be able to opt-out under a bill in the state Senate.

Students would instead be allowed to go through an alternative assessment developed by districts.

Republican Senator Steven Thayne is sponsoring the bill.

“There are some parents that are very concerned by more and more testing. And one reason we’re bringing this bill forward is we’re trying to give a voice to those parents who have concerns,” Thayne said.

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Abortion Laws
4:25 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

ACLU Files Case Against Public Hospital, Over Failure to Provide Abortions

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State is suing Skagit Regional Health, alleging that the public hospital system doesn't provide abortion services in accordance with state law.
Credit AndreyPopov / Flickr

The ACLU of Washington is launching an effort to ensure that hospitals are following the state’s abortion rights laws.

Thursday the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking to have Skagit Regional Health comply with Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act, or RPA.

The ACLU’s Doug Hoening says the public hospital has a policy of not providing abortion services, in violation of state law.

Hoening says The ACLU also has sent letters to three other public hospital districts in Mason County, Jefferson County, and Whidbey Island that have the same policy:

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Discrimination Lawsuit
7:44 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Gay Couple Hopes Court Victory Will Stop Discrimination

The couple involved in the suit.
Credit Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The couple at the center of a discrimination lawsuit against a Washington florist say they hope other businesses will take notice of their case. A county judge late Wednesday ruled the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland violated state law when she denied service to the gay couple.

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Oil Train Regulation
7:37 am
Thu February 19, 2015

West Virginia Oil Train Derailment Has Northwest Lawmakers Thinking About Safety

Credit Tony Schick / EarthFix

This week’s fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia has lawmakers thinking about oil-by-rail safety through the Northwest. There has been a dramatic increase in oil trains traveling through the region to reach West coast refineries.

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Gay Rights
6:30 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Judge Rules Richland Florist Who Refused Gay Wedding Broke Law

A county judge has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago. Washington's attorney general joined the couple in suing the florist for violating state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws.

Democratic attorney general Bob Ferguson says the florist's religious beliefs cannot be used to justify treating certain customers differently.

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