Northwest News

Remote Jailing
6:21 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Behind Bars And Far Away

Alex Hooks and Lisa Daugaard (standing) at a 2005 hearing challenging his transfer from Seattle to Yakima.

Fifteen years ago, western Washington cities started sending local inmates to jails in the eastern part of the state, as a remedy for overcrowding and high jail costs. But many people in county jails are defendants still awaiting trial, and the transfers can get in the way of their ability to mount a legal defense. 

In 2005, Alex Hooks faced misdemeanor domestic violence charges in Seattle. Seattle stopped out-of-county transfers for pretrial inmates soon after Hooks challenged the policy, but his experience sheds light on ongoing problems with the practice as it persists today.

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Pet Rescue
4:50 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Washington Animal Cruelty Law Could Be Enhanced To Cover Pets in Hot Cars

File photo. Police and animal control officers in Washington may soon get explicit license to break into cars to rescue animals in distress.
Lynn Friedman Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:39 pm

When temperatures rise this spring, you're bound to hear the occasional sad tale of a dog locked in a hot car in the sun.

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Kitzhaber Investigation
4:49 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

U.S. Attorney Asks Oregon To Pause Investigation Of Kitzhaber

Federal investigators have requested that Oregon delay it's own investigation of former Governor John Kitzhaber
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:39 pm

The state probe into ethics allegations against former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is being halted, at least for now.

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Cover Oregon
4:48 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Dissolve Health Insurance Exchange

Cover Oregon, the state's health exchange, could seen be dismantled.
Cover Oregon

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange is one step closer to being dismantled.

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Minimum Wage
4:41 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Idaho Lawmakers Introduce Minimum Wage Bill, But Indicate It’s Headed Nowhere

A view of the Idaho State Capitol from Downtown Boise
Bev Sykes Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:05 pm

A panel in the Idaho Senate introduced a bill that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 an hour -- a $2 per hour increase -- by next year. 

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Jails
5:15 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Human Cargo: Washington’s Jail Bed Economy

Ed Campbell, Director of Yakima's Department of Corrections, walks through a pod in the County's empty 288-bed jail.
Credit Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

Brad Schmidt has been an inmate in the Wapato jail for almost a year. It’s a small place, built in 1909, with the police department upstairs, and the court next door. Schmidt often washes patrol cars parked outside.

As jails go, it can be refreshingly informal, Schmidt says. “When I tell them I need to go out, I just put a coat on and walk out the front door. In Wapato, Schmidt has earned this level of freedom as a trustee.  He says the jail doesn’t have the “big county feel” of jails like Pierce County, where Schmidt, who’s from Tacoma, has been in the past.

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New Oregon Governor
4:30 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Oregon Governor Says Past Votes Don't Bind Her Future Policy Decisions

Prior to becoming Oregon's governor, Kate Brown was elected as Oregon's secretary of state in 2008 and served in the state legislature for 17 years.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:01 pm

Oregon's new governor Kate Brown said Thursday that votes she took as a state lawmaker aren't necessarily a sign of where she stands on present-day issues.

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Tsunami Debris
4:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Japanese Fish Found Alive In Oregon Waters

Oregon scientists are trying to figure out how a fish like the one above, native to Japan, was pulled out of a crab pot on the Oregon coast - alive.
Credit Google Images

Oregon scientists are trying to figure out how a fish, native to Japan, was pulled out of a crab pot on the Oregon coast - alive.

“I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard about it,” says John Chapman, an invasive species expert at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

He says there’s only a handful of ways the striped knifejaw could make it here: in the ballast water of a ship; someone could have dumped their aquarium into the ocean; or the fish survived under debris washed out to sea after the Japanese tsunami.

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Government and Politics
4:02 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Idaho Lawmakers Consider Bill To Write Uber-Style Services Into Law

View from the backseat of an Uber ride. Idaho lawmakers will consider a bill to write Uber-style services into state law.
Alexander Torrenegra Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 5:00 pm

A panel in the Idaho House agreed to introduce legislation Thursday that would define ride-sharing services like Uber in state law -- and trump local efforts to regulate them.

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Education
3:58 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Education Spending In Focus As Washington Legislature Nears Halfway Mark

The House Chamber inside the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 3:47 pm

Washington lawmakers are approaching the halfway mark of their 105-day session. Hot issues include marijuana, mental health, oil trains and cap-and-trade.

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