Northwest News

Puget Sound Tidal Energy
7:23 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Tidal Project In Puget Sound Abandoned By Utility

A crew deploying a "sea spider" in 2011 to collect data from the floor of Puget Sound in Admiralty Inlet. After eight years of testing and permitting processes, the Snohomish County PUD has decided to halt the project.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A long-awaited tidal energy project in Puget Sound has come to halt. The project was set to generate tidal energy and connect it to the grid – the first project of its kind in the world. But it just got too expensive.

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Landslide Prevention
7:01 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Landslide Safety All Over The Map In Washington

"A condemned house on the edge of the Ledgewood Beach bluff on Washington's Whidbey Island."
KUOW

The Oso landslide devastated one stretch of one valley in Snohomish County. But Washington state is dotted with landslide-prone slopes. An investigation by KUOW and EarthFix has found that many local governments do much less than Snohomish County to keep people from building on dangerous ground. 

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Washington Gun Initiatives
6:44 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

NRA Says It's 'Very Committed' To Defeating I-594

Initiative 594 would require background checks for person-to-person gun sales in Washington state.
Credit M Glasgow / Flickr

The National Rifle Association says it’s “very committed” to defeating a background check measure on Washington’s November ballot. But the gun rights group says it has no plans to compete financially with the campaign in favor of Initiative 594.

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Hiring Practices
6:43 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Feds Hand HR Functions Back To BPA

Desert Southwest Foreman II Electrician Rod Chaffee trains Bonneville Power Administration Electrician Paul VonLindern how to perform a rescue using the new equipment.
Credit Western Area Power / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Energy says the Bonneville Power Administration can be in charge of hiring new employees again. 

Last year the BPA got in trouble with the feds over hiring practices and retaliation against whistleblowers. The Energy Department found the BPA had not given preference that veterans were entitled to during hiring.

The government effectively took over the BPA's human resources department for about a year.

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Northwest Wildfires
6:39 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Forest Service Comes In Under Budget Due to Slow Fire Season

Fires burn near Ashland, Ore., in this aerial view of the Oregon Gulch fire, August 5, 2014.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr

A slow wildfire season in the U.S. means the Forest Service won’t have to dip into other parts of its budget to cover firefighting expenses. The federal government’s fiscal year ended Tuesday. As Scott Graf reports, it’s the first time in three years the agency’s firefighting allotment will cover actual costs. 

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Invasive Cook-off
6:38 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

'If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em' Say Diners Noshing On Invasive Species

Crayfish stuffed piquillo pepper, sorrel smoked salmon puff, wild turkey terrine with blackberry mustard, dandelion spanakopita and wild board bratwurst.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

  

  Chefs and adventurous diners converged at Zenith Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley near Salem.

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Northwest PEN Winner
6:59 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Spokane’s Shawn Vestal Wins PEN Prize For Debut Fiction

Shawn Vestal at the 2014 PEN American Center Literary Awards
Credit Beowulf Sheehan / PEN American Center

“Faith became a larger and larger part of the book as I began to shape it and write the later stories. And for me, that’s just Mormonism. That’s what faith is. That's my background, and so that's the prism through which I can look at the subject."

A Northwest writer is this year’s winner of a prestigious PEN award. Shawn Vestal of Spokane won the prize for debut fiction Monday night in New York.

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Health Education
5:32 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Idaho College Gets $6.4 Million To Train Health Care Workers Where They're Needed

An overview of the North Idaho College campus, where the grant will help train healthcare technicians and assistants
Credit North Idaho College / http://www.nic.edu/about/

A community college in Idaho today received a major grant to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry. The $6.4 million dollar grant is the largest in the school’s history. It’s part of a job training program set up in the 2009 stimulus package.

Lita Burns is the vice president of instruction at North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur d’Alene, the school that got the grant. She says hospitals have told them it’s hard to get people trained as technicians and assistants to relocate from another state. This includes EMTs and dental assistants.

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Washington Gun Initiatives
7:29 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Washington Ballot Measure Targets Online Gun Sales

Aman More takes aim with his .357 Magnum at the Poulsbo Sportsman Club. He buys and sells guns on a website called ARMSLIST and opposes efforts to regulate those sales.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

This November, Washington voters will decide whether to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales.

Initiative 594 would close what gun control advocates used to call the “gun show loophole.” But these days, much of the unregulated gun trade is happening online.

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Tsunami Prep Fun
7:25 am
Mon September 29, 2014

5K Run/Walk In Cannon Beach Injects Fun Into Tsunami Readiness

Runners set off from the beach during the inaugural "Race the Wave" 5K fun run/walk.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

People along the Oregon Coast ran for their lives Sunday to escape an imaginary tsunami. Local, state and federal emergency management agencies hatched the idea for a 5K fun run and walk along an actual tsunami evacuation route in Cannon Beach. The event was an example of trying to inject some levity in the serious business of disaster readiness.

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