Education
11:44 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

National Geography Bee: Test Your World Knowledge

The 10 finalists of the 2012 National Geographic Bee are competing for prizes including a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Rebecca Hale National Geographic

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 9:40 am

The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.

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WSU Develop New Battery Tech.
5:39 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

WSU Researchers Patent Longer Battery Life Technology

WSU's Grant Norton says using tin in lithium ion batteries could keep many electronic devices running much longer.
Photo courtesy WSU

Researchers at Washington State University say they've found a way to keep lithium batteries charged three times longer. These are the batteries used in laptops, cell phones and electric vehicles. The key ingredient in the new battery design is tin, as a replacement for carbon, which is more common.

The research is lead by engineering professor Grant Norton. He says the improvements could keep many electronic devices running much longer.

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Oregon Corrections Layoffs
5:24 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Oregon Lawmakers Scale Back Corrections Layoffs

Oregon lawmakers have been pressing state agencies to cut back the ranks of middle managers. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to do that.
Photo credit: Chris Lehman The Oregon Department of Corrections

Oregon lawmakers have been pressing state agencies to cut back the ranks of middle managers. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to do that. But they scaled back a proposed round of layoffs at prisons because of safety concerns.

The Department of Corrections had submitted a budget-cutting plan to eliminate 81 positions, including more than 50 prison lieutenants. Lawmakers instead told the agency to scrap just 21 jobs by this summer. House Democratic leader Tina Kotek said the original proposal was too much, too soon.

Tina Kotek: "I am concerned about the safety issues within the system by reducing the number of supervisors. It's a challenge of safety for the staff, safety for the inmates."

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520 Bridge
5:16 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

520 Bridge Workers Caught Drinking On The Job

Wednesday morning KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job.
Photo credit: Jelson25 Wikimedia Commons

KOMO 4 Television broadcast a story showing workers on the 520 Bridge construction project drinking on the job. Washington State Department of Transportation is launching an investigation looking into the details.

KOMO’s story caught employees walking into work carrying two twelve packs of beer on a Friday afternoon. Hidden cameras also showed several workers swigging back bottles of beer at their desks, allegedly during work hours.

The workers are employees of KGM, a joint venture firm of Kiewit, General and Manson. The company won the bid to design and build the 520 floating bridge. The contract is worth $586 million.

WSDOT Communications Director Steve Pierce says the company is highly regarded. He isn’t worried about the quality of their work.

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Reward For Grizzly Killer
4:40 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Killer Of Grizzly Mother And Cub Sought

A female grizzly bear & family rambles through Yellowstone National Park.
Photo credit: Kim Keating U.S. Geological Survey

Idaho state and federal officials are searching for whoever killed a female Grizzly bear and her cub. Grizzly bears are a federally protected Endangered Species.

The incident occurred north of the town of Bonners Ferry on Hall Mountain. The animals were discovered on Friday by a hiker.

Idaho Fish and Game Spokesman Phil Cooper says it’s not known if a hunter mistook the Griz for a black bear, shot it, and then noticed the cub, “and then approached the animal , saw it had a cub with it and panicked, or whether it went through their mind that this animal is going to starve, I’m going to shoot rather than let it starve, who knows”.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Tentative Deal Clears Way For U.S. Olympic Hosting Bid

Fireworks fill the sky after the Olympic cauldron was lit on Feb. 8, 2003, marking the one year anniversary of the 2002 Winter Games at the opening and closing ceremony venue in Salt Lake City, the last American city to host the Olympics.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:36 pm

Olympic officials meeting in Quebec City have reached a tentative agreement in a persistent revenue-sharing dispute responsible, in part, for keeping the Olympics out of the United States for at least 20 years.

The dispute centers on the American share of Olympic revenues. Since 1984, The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has received the biggest portion of the billions of Olympic dollars paid by corporate sponsors and American television networks. And the rest of the Olympic world has resented it.

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Reporters Sue Idaho For Execution Coverage
4:22 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

News Organizations Sue To Watch Entire Idaho Execution

The Associated Press and other news agencies sued the state of Idaho Tuesday to view prisoner executions from start to finish.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Associated Press and other news agencies sued the state of Idaho yesterday to view prisoner executions from start to finish. Reporters want to be able to observe and report any complications that might come up.

AP reporter Rebecca Boone is among those fighting to see the entire execution.

Rebecca Boone: "This is the most powerful action that the courts and government can take, it’s killing a person. So if we don’t know what happens for half of that process, then it’s impossible to have an educated and vital debate about it."

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

New Documents Describe Brutal Hazing That Killed FAMU Drum Major

Robert Champion agreed to go into Bus C because he was vying for the top job at Florida A&M University's Marching 100 band and thought it would impress his band mates.

But that hazing ritual — a relentless, brutal beating — would cost him his life. That's the picture painted by a cache of new documents released today in Florida.

The New York Times reports:

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Military Disability Evaluations
4:11 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Murray Hearing on VA / DOD Wait Time for Disability Evaulations

Washington Senator Patty Murray grilled VA and DOD leaders about the wait times during a committee hearing Wednesday.
U.S. Senate

Five years ago the Defense Department and VA made an effort to streamline the process. It hasn’t worked.

The evaluations are a critical step for injured service members who are preparing to leave the military. Washington Senator Patty Murray is Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Murray grilled VA and DOD leaders about the wait times during a committee hearing Wednesday.

Murray: “That’s unacceptable for someone just waiting to figure out what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives.”

The GAO’s report found that last year active duty troops waited nearly 400 days for evaluations, longer for National Guard and Reserve.Further Murray says she’s concerned about the evaluation process itself known as IDES which can have the effect of seeming to pit commanders against soldiers.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

In Egypt, First Day Of Voting 'Seemed Remarkably Routine'

Two women show their inked fingers after casting their votes on the first day of the Presidential election at a polling center in Old Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday.
Fredrik Persson AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 3:34 pm

Polls have closed on a historic day in Egypt: For many it was the first time they had a say in who their leader will be. Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 29 years, was ousted last year. And before him, for another 30 or so years, Egyptian presidents have run unopposed.

Kimberly Adams was at the polls in Cairo today for NPR. She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Many waited in line for hours to choose the replacement for President Hosni Mubarak, who was booted from office during the Arab Spring.

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