Coal Export Terminal Opponents Submit Petition

Mar 1, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Some Washington citizens are voicing opposition about plans to build three new coal export terminals in their communities. Opponents of those proposals delivered more than 40,000 signatures to the state capitol in Olympia Wednesday.

Washington Unemployment Drops To 8.3 Percent

Feb 29, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s economy is looking up. New numbers out Wednesday show the state’s unemployment rate is down to 8.3 percent. The January number is 0.3 percent lower than the unemployment rate for December.

Photo credit: Michael Raphael / Photo courtesy FEMA

2012 was off to a good start, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
State economist, Nick Beleiciks, says more people are working in manufacturing, education, health services and the financial industry.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Dual Freq / Wikimedia Commons

2012 was off to a good start, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
State economist, Nick Beleiciks, says more people are working in manufacturing, education, health services and the financial industry.

Nick Beleiciks: "The monthly job gains was really large. It's the largest we've seen in the last year. 54-hundred jobs in January. The last time we had a one month gain like that was last January. So that was a nice surprise."

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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.

Photo Credit: Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Representatives from the Northwest released not one, but two controversial forestry bills Thursday. Both would channel funds from timber sales to rural counties. Amelia Templeton reports.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Slightly up. That’s the upshot of Thursday’s Washington revenue forecast. This is the quarterly report that tells budget writers how much money they have to work with. Steve Lerch is Washington’s interim economic forecaster. He told a panel of lawmakers they can expect $96 million more than they expected to balance the budget. Lerch said Washington’s recovery continues, but it’s slow.

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Oregon seeks to co-lead a class action lawsuit against Bank of New York Mellon. The bank was allegedly involved in a foreign currency exchange manipulation scheme.

Source: Washington Attorney General's Office

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- After a year of negotiations, states, federal regulators and five of the biggest lenders have reached a $25 billion dollar settlement to change foreclosure practices. The goal of the settlement is to impose new restrictions on banks, and to fund loan modifications for homeowners. Backers hope the agreement will also help stabilize the housing market. KUOW’s Amy Radil reports.

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EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff plans to lay off up to 90 people and close more than one hundred jail beds. That's because the county is losing $14 million in federal timber payments.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.


The Boeing Company ended 2011 having sold about half as many airplanes as its France-based rival, Airbus. Now, less than a month into the new year, Boeing has inked its largest deal ever with a European airline. The aerospace giant is on track to overtake Airbus for the first time in years. From France, Liam Moriarty reports.

Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle is the first European carrier to buy Boeing's revamped 737 MAX -- 100 of them. The deal is seen as another industry vote of confidence in the updated version of Boeing’s workhorse model.

Most days, Nowela Virginie and her two young daughters are here, in her small apartment just off a busy thoroughfare on the outskirts of Boise.

Virginie is 23, and she arrived in Boise three years ago. She was born in Rwanda, but spent 16 years of her life in a refugee camp in Tanzania. She remembers the shock of finding herself in a new city, a place that looked nothing like anywhere she’d ever been. "When I coming USA, nobody can explain to me how USA is to look like, nobody can explain to me," she says.

Jason McArthur / Wikimedia Commons

GRANT'S PASS, Ore. – Oregon Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Greg Walden appeared together in Grants Pass Thursday. They were pushing their proposal to open up some public forests to logging. Amelia Templeton reports they were tight lipped about the details.

Online Guide to House Members and Senators / Wikimedia Commons

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio is hoping he'll soon be able to introduce legislation that will help fund rural counties who are bracing for the loss of federal timber payments.

Some counties face insolvency if the Secure Rural Schools Act is not renewed. Congressman DeFazio says he's working with fellow Democratic Representative Curt Schrader and Republican Representative Greg Walden for a temporary extension. They're also helping him with a long term plan.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.

Miners’ Prospects Reverse Of Economic Downturn

Jan 25, 2012
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SILVER VALLEY, Idaho - They say the days when you could go from high school to a high-paying, blue collar job are long gone. But there are places in the Northwest where those days still exist -- that is, if you’re willing to work a mile underground.

For gold and silver miners, it looks like boom times right now. Rising salaries, more job opportunities. Even a recent layoff in north Idaho doesn't look like other layoffs. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has this story on a job that's seeing the reverse side of the economic downturn.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins profiles one person who lost her state job, but found another one.

Keri-Anne Jetzer’s low point came last year when she lost her job as a researcher for Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

Year-end sales numbers are in and, in the corporate battle of the skies, Airbus has once again beaten Boeing.

The European jet maker said this morning that sales last year totaled 1,419 — or almost double the 805 sales Boeing posted last year.

Jobless people in Idaho will start to see a major transition in its unemployment system. Idaho is phasing out paper unemployment checks and phasing in a system that puts benefits on debit cards. It becomes the second Northwest state to do so.

About one-third of Idaho's 44,000 unemployed people already have their weekly benefits put into some sort of electronic account. Now, Labor Department spokesman Bob Fick says Idaho's moving the other two-thirds that still receive paper checks to the state-issued debit cards.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Enough school districts have signed on, so Washington will submit an application for federal Race to the Top dollars. The governor made that announcement. All but 44 of Washington's 295 districts are on board. Race to the Top is President Obama's incentive program to spur education reform. The next question is whether Washington has a shot at winning the nationwide competition. Lisa Macfarlane  is with the non-profit League of Education Voters. She says Washington started out a dark horse in the race.

Washington jobless falls first time in three-plus years. Washington employers added 5,800 new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. Unemployment statewide fell to 9.2 percent from 9.5 percent reported in March.

The Employment Security Department's Jamie Swift says that Washington has posted a net gain of nearly 15,000 new jobs this year.

Jamie Swift: “Seeing the unemployment rate come down finally after three long years is welcome news. It's definitely a sign that our economy is turning around.”

Washington employers added 58-hundred new jobs in April, lowering the state's unemployment rate for the first time in more than three years. The Oregon jobless rate held steady at 10-point-six percent, the same as in March, making it six straight months without any significant change. But that was still nearly a point less than April 2009, when the rate was 11.5 percent.

The Oregon employment department released job data for April today/ yesterday [Tuesday]. As Amelia Templeton of OPB reports, unemployment in the state is still stuck at 10 and a half percent. 

John Ryan photo

Washington state auditors say the agency charged with cleaning up Puget Sound should clean up its own act too. A report out Wednesday says the Puget Sound Partnership has misspent public funds and circumvented various state laws. John Ryan has the story.

The federal government has designated southern Oregon's Klamath Basin as a disaster area due to drought conditions. The declaration makes farmers there eligible for low-interest loans.

Lower than average snow pack this winter means less water is available for farmers in the Klamath Basin. The disaster declaration applies to six counties in southern Oregon and two in northern California. Democratic US Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon says the new loans will help alleviate conditions that are some of the worst on record.